In order to apply the cohesive element prestretching at the time of insertion, we must determine the nodal displacement jump across the cohesive surface to be introduced. A relatively straightforward approach to accomplish this is to enforce local equilibrium on the assembly composed of the cohesive element and the adjacent volumetric element. To demonstrate this idea, let us consider the simple 1D system shown in Figure 2.18.
The local equilibrium equations for the four nodes involved in the cohesive element insertion can be written in the form:
(2.28) 
(2.30) 
The cohesive node stiffness is given by
(2.31) 
The nodal forces, and acting on nodes 1 and 3, respectively, quantify the existing stress state on volumetric elements and . Prescribing the nodal displacements at nodes 1 and 3 as those computed at these nodes at the time of insertion, we can readily solve the resulting 2by2 linear system in terms of and :
(2.32) 
While this method is quite simple in 1D and for a single cohesive element, it is quite more cumbersome in 2D and where a large number of elements are inserted simultaneously. A simpler method inspired from the prestretching approach consists in using the local stress field directly to compute, with the aid of the tractionseparation law, the initial displacement jump to be applied across the cohesive surface.
Inverting the tractionseparation relation introduced earlier, the displacement jump can be written as
The applied cohesive traction, , is simply chosen as the average of the nodal internal forces applied on nodes and by the volumetric elements a and b, respectively. As shown in Figure 2.19, the separation is then applied evenly in both directions from the current location of the original node (i.e., node ). This even distribution has shown to give good results although a massweighted separation can be used by which the displacement is greater towards the lighter edge element.

In two dimensions, the nodal separations can receive contributions from multiple neighboring cohesive elements, and in both the and directions. Figure 2.20 is a schematic example of three connected edges where cohesive elements are inserted. We first transform the normal and tangential cohesive separations into the separations along the principal and axes, resulting in separations of and . When applying these separations to the various nodes we must be careful not to simply sum the contributions from each neighboring cohesive element. Instead we can either use the maximum or minimum nodal separation, the average of all of the neighboring separations, or some weighted distribution based on the mass of the current node. After some testing we found that the optimal approach is to use the average of the neighboring cohesive separations. The other approaches induced greater oscillations for every test case.
Figure 2.21 shows the effect of prestretching on the separation of the cohesive node for the (0 ), ( ) and ( ) time step insertion cases for the simple 1D problem discussed earlier. The oscillations, while still present, have been drastically reduced. More tests of the effect of adaptive cohesive element insertion on the solution are presented in Chapters and .
