Because the fracture behaviors of soft materials are complex, high-precision technology is needed to perform the detailed analysis necessary to produce more effective materials. Indentation methods exist to characterize the fracture behavior of soft materials, with fractures varying in accordance with the shape of the indenter. Thus, it is important to clarify the relationship between indenter shape and the fracture behaviors of soft materials, and necessary to consider the complicated deformation patterns induced by the mechanical nonlinearity of the materials. To this end, various needle-like indenter shapes are modeled via a finite element method (FEM). In this study, we employ a cone-shaped reference needle. Then, the shape is changed to have the tip form a curvilinear indentation, resembling a steep mountain ridgeline. In addition, shear strain is set as the fracture criterion for soft material in the FE analysis since the shear force resulting from penetration primarily damages the soft materials. Regarding the force applied to the needle, there is a tendency for the force to become smaller as it more resembles a cone shape. There are three fracture types: holing, opening, and slitting. Holing is generated by the cone needle, and the fracture of soft material appears along the shape of the needle. Opening fractures are generated by the needle with a curvilinearly spreading tip, forming a small slit on the surface of the soft material. Lastly, slitting fractures are also generated by the needle with a curvilinearly spreading tip, but the resulting slit is deepened without damaging the tissue surrounding the needling. These fracture types can also be classified according to the fracture area of the soft material surface, with slitting resulting in the smallest fracture area.

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