Nonlinear Focusing in Dynamic Crack Fronts and the Microbranching Transition

Itamar Kolvin, Jay Fineberg, Mokhtar Adda-Bedia

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11 Scopus citations


Cracks in brittle materials produce two types of generic surface structures: facets at low velocities and microbranches at higher ones. Here we observe a transition from faceting to microbranching in polyacrylamide gels that is characterized by nonlinear dynamic localization of crack fronts. To better understand this process we derive a first-principles nonlinear equation of motion for crack fronts in the context of scalar elasticity. Its solution shows that nonlinear focusing coupled to rate dependence of dissipation governs the transition to microbranching.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number215505
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2017

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Physical Society.


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