Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Computational Physics 231:7 (April 1, 2012), pp. 2764-275; doi: 10.1016/


Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


We introduce a multidimensional peridynamic formulation for transient heat-transfer. The model does not contain spatial derivatives and uses instead an integral over a region around a material point. By construction, the formulation converges to the classical heat transfer equations in the limit of the horizon (the nonlocal region around a point) going to zero. The new model, however, is suitable for modeling, for example, heat flow in bodies with evolving discontinuities such as growing insulated cracks. We introduce the peridynamic heat flux which exists even at sharp corners or when the isotherms are not smooth surfaces. The peridynamic heat flux coincides with the classical one in simple cases and, in general, it converges to it in the limit of the peridynamic horizon going to zero. We solve test problems and compare results with analytical solutions of the classical model or with other numerical solutions. Convergence to the classical solutions is seen in the limit of the horizon going to zero. We then solve the problem of transient heat flow in a plate in which insulated cracks grow and intersect thus changing the heat flow patterns. We also model heat transfer in a fiber-reinforced composite and observe transient but steep thermal gradients at the interfaces between the highly conductive fibers and the low conductivity matrix. Such thermal gradients can lead to delamination cracks in composites from thermal fatigue. The formulation may be used to, for example, evaluate effective thermal conductivities in bodies with an evolving distribution of insulating or permeable, possibly intersecting, cracks of arbitrary shapes.