In this paper we present an investigation on the feasibility of exploiting the Direct Strain Imaging (DSI) method for the purpose of tracking propagating discontinuities on the surface of a deformable body under mechanical load. The proposed approach is based on a strain compatibility functional that does not require any assumptions about the continuity conditions of the underlying medium. The proposed approach is based on the recently introduced Direct Strain Imaging method that is used to identify with high accuracy the full fields of strain tensor components that are required to define the strain compatibility functional. We performed synthetic numerical experiments based on the exercising the eXtended Finite Element Method solution for simulating a propagating crack of a particular problem in order to assess the feasibility and potential of the proposed approach. We demonstrated that indeed our DSI-based approach can achieve a very accurate determination of the crack trajectory even under noisy conditions.

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