The paper was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The scientists present a model for subcritical fracture growth, coupled with the elastic redistribution of the acting mechanical stress along rugous rupture fronts. They show that their model matches previous experimental data well and that the model can be used to quantitatively reproduce the intermittent dynamics (e.g., the growth of the fracture width and the distribution of the local propagation velocity) of cracks propagating along weak disordered interfaces.
Their work provides new evidence that an Arrhenius-like subcritical growth is particularly suitable for the description of creeping cracks.
The main author, Tom Vincent-Dospital, writes this:
“In this article, we show that simple thermodynamics and elasticity allow us to understand the complex propagation of slowly creeping fractures in disordered materials and their very intermittent dynamics. Understanding the dynamics of fractures is paramount in many domains, from everyday engineering to seismology. Understanding how they behave in disordered materials is also important, as most solids around us hold some disorder. We show that relatively simple physical considerations actually allow us to reproduce most of the experimental observables when the complex propagation of creeping fractures is studied, from the fractures' shape to the size of their forward avalanches. To our knowledge, the introduced model offers one of the most comprehensive matches so far, in the reproduction of such intermittent propagations, both in a fast rupture regime and in a creep regime.”
This work was performed as a collaboration between PoreLab and the French universities of Strasbourg (ITES, UMR7063 CNRS/Unistra) and Lyon (LP-ENS, UMR8023 CNRS/ENS de Lyon), within the International Research Project France-Norway D-FFRACT and the joint PhD of Tom Vincent-Dospital at the Universities of Strasbourg and Oslo.
Vincent-Dospital, T., Cochard, A., Santucci, S., Måløy, K. J. and Toussaint, R. (2021) Thermally activated intermittent dynamics of creeping crack fronts along disordered interfaces. Scientific reports, 11 (1), pp. 1-16.