This paper presents a new continuum shape sensitivity method for calculating mixed-mode stress-intensity factors for a stationary crack in two-dimensional, linear-elastic, isotropic FGMs with arbitrary geometry. The method involves the material derivative concept taken from continuum mechanics, the mutual potential energy release rate, and direct differentiation. Since the governing variational equation is differentiated prior to discretization, resulting sensitivity equations are independent of approximate numerical techniques, such as the finite element method, boundary element method, mesh-free method, or others. The discrete form of the mutual potential energy release rate is simple and easy to calculate, as it only requires multiplication of displacement vectors and stiffness sensitivity matrices. By judiciously selecting the velocity field, the method only requires displacement response in a subdomain close to the crack tip, thus making the method computationally efficient. Seven finite-element based numerical examples, which comprise mode-I and mixed-mode deformations and/or single or multiple interacting cracks, are presented to evaluate the accuracy of the fracture parameters calculated by the proposed method. Comparisons have been made between stress-intensity factors predicted by the proposed method and available reference solutions in the literature, generated either analytically or numerically using various other fracture integrals or analyses. Excellent agreement is obtained between the results of the proposed method and previously obtained solutions. Therefore, shape sensitivity analysis provides an attractive alternative to fracture analysis of cracks in homogeneous and non-homogeneous materials.

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