Dynamics and properties of the cohesive zone in rapid fracture and friction

Neri Berman, Gil Cohen, Jay Fineberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The cohesive zone is the elusive region in which material fracture takes place. Here, the putatively singular stresses at a crack's tip are regularized. We present experiments, performed on PMMA, in which we visualize the cohesive zone of frictional ruptures as they propagate. Identical to shear cracks, these ruptures range from slow velocities to nearly the limiting speeds of cracks. We reveal that the cohesive zone is a dynamic quantity; its spatial form undergoes a sharp transition between distinct phases at a critical velocity. The structure of these phases provides an important window into material properties under the extreme conditions that occur during fracture.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number125503
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 2020

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© 2020 American Physical Society.


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