Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1304.0215 (Osvanny Ramos et al.)

Experimental study of the effect of disorder on subcritical crack growth

Osvanny Ramos, Pierre-Philippe Cortet, Sergio Ciliberto, Loïc Vanel
The growth dynamics of a single crack in a heterogeneous material under subcritical loading is an intermittent process; and many features of this dynamics have been shown to agree with simple models of thermally activated rupture. In order to better understand the role of material heterogeneities in this process, we study the subcritical propagation of a crack in a sheet of paper in the presence of a distribution of small defects such as holes. The experimental data obtained for two different distributions of holes are discussed in the light of models that predict the slowing down of crack growth when the disorder in the material is increased; however, in contradiction with these theoretical predictions, the experiments result in longer lasting cracks in a more ordered scenario. We argue that this effect is specific to subcritical crack dynamics and that the weakest zones between holes at close distance to each other are responsible both for the acceleration of the crack dynamics and the slightly different roughness of the crack path.
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