Crack front dynamics: The interplay of singular geometry and crack instabilities

Itamar Kolvin, Gil Cohen, Jay Fineberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


When fast cracks become unstable to microscopic branching (microbranching), fracture no longer occurs in an effective 2D medium. We follow in-plane crack front dynamics via real-time measurements in brittle gels as microbranching unfolds and progresses. We first show that spatially local energy balance quantitatively describes crack dynamics, even when translational invariance is badly broken. Furthermore, our results explain microbranch dynamics; why microbranches form along spatially localized chains and how finite-time formation of cusps along the crack front leads to their death.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number175501
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Physical Society.


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