Slow crack growth : models and experiments

Abstract : The properties of slow crack growth in brittle materials are analyzed both theoretically and experimentally. We propose a model based on a thermally activated rupture process. Considering a 2D spring network submitted to an external load and to thermal noise, we show that a preexisting crack in the network may slowly grow because of stress fluctuations. An analytical solution is found for the evolution of the crack length as a function of time, the time to rupture and the statistics of the crack jumps. These theoretical predictions are verified by studying experimentally the subcritical growth of a single crack in thin sheets of paper. A good agreement between the theoretical predictions and the experimental results is found. In particular, our model suggests that the statistical stress fluctuations trigger rupture events at a nanometric scale corresponding to the diameter of cellulose microfibrils.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 1:43:46 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 11:20:05 AM
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Stéphane Santucci, Loïc Vanel, Sergio Ciliberto. Slow crack growth : models and experiments. 2007. ⟨ensl-00138774⟩

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