In physics, a characteristic length is an important dimension that defines the scale of a physical system. Often such a length is used as an input to a formula in order to predict some characteristics of the system.
In computational mechanics, a characteristic length is defined to force localization of a stress softening constitutive equation. The length is associated with an integration point. For 2D analysis, it is calculated by taking square root of the area. For 3D analysis, it is calculated by taking cubic root of the volume associated to the integration point.
- J. Oliver, M. Cervera, S. Oller, Isotropic damage models and smeared crack analysis of concrete., Proceedings of SCI-C 1990 (1990) 945–958.
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