Propagating mode-I fracture in amorphous materials using the continuous random network model

Shay I. Heizler*, David A. Kessler, Herbert Levine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We study propagating mode-I fracture in two-dimensional amorphous materials using atomistic simulations. We use the continuous random network model of an amorphous material, creating samples using a two-dimensional analog of the Wooten-Winer-Weaire Monte Carlo algorithm. For modeling fracture, molecular-dynamics simulations were run on the resulting samples. The results of our simulations reproduce the main experimental features. In addition to achieving a steady-state crack under a constant driving displacement (which has not yet been achieved by other atomistic models for amorphous materials), the runs show microbranching, which increases with driving, transitioning to macrobranching for the largest drivings. In addition to the qualitative visual similarity of the simulated cracks to experiment, the simulation also succeeds in reproducing qualitatively the experimentally observed oscillations of the crack velocity.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number026102
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


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