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[Question #681532]: Are polyhedra aggregates of spheres?


New question #681532 on Yade:

Good evening,

I am considering using Yade for a project for which I need to simulate large pieces of ice breaking under certain forces. The idea is to start with a large polyhedron shape which breaks into smaller polyhedra under compression forces. This has been done with Yade before https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjXvPLU92xQ&t=1s. If I understood correctly, two criteria to establish if the initial polyhedron breaks have been implemented before: the Mohr-Coulomb and MaxTau principles. In order to check where the crack starts in the initial polyhedron and in which direction it propagates, the algorithm should know what is the sigma-distribution along the body. 

So my questions are:
- how does the algorithm decide in which point the material breaks and how the crack propagates in 3D?
- What is the internal structure of the polygon? Is it made of spheres (in this case the sigma-forces would be given by the sphere-sphere contact forces)?

Thank you and best regards,

Damiana Catanoso

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