We develop a finite-element method for the simulation of dynamic fracture and fragmentation of thin-shells. The shell is spatially discretized with subdivision shell elements and the fracture along the element edges is modeled with a cohesive law. In order to follow the propagation and branching of cracks, subdivision shell elements are pre-fractured ab initio and the crack opening is constrained prior to crack nucleation. This approach allows for shell fracture in an in-plane tearing mode, a shearing mode, or a bending of hinge mode. The good performance of the method is demonstrated through the simulation of petalling failure experiments in aluminum plates.

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