How Supertough Gels Break

Itamar Kolvin*, John M. Kolinski, Jian Ping Gong, Jay Fineberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Fracture of highly stretched materials challenges our view of how things break. We directly visualize rupture of tough double-network gels at >50% strain. During fracture, crack tip shapes obey a x∼y1.6 power law, in contrast to the parabolic profile observed in low-strain cracks. A new length scale â.," emerges from the power law; we show that â.," scales directly with the stored elastic energy and diverges when the crack velocity approaches the shear wave speed. Our results show that double-network gels undergo brittle fracture and provide a testing ground for large-strain fracture mechanics.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number135501
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - 26 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Physical Society.


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