Brittle/quasi-brittle transition in dynamic fracture: An energetic signature

Scheibert, Julien
Guerra, Claudia
Célarié, Fabrice
Dalmas, Davy
Bonamy, Daniel
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Dynamic fracture experiments were performed in PMMA over a wide range of velocities and reveal that the fracture energy exhibits an abrupt 3-folds increase from its value at crack initiation at a well-defined critical velocity, below the one associated to the onset of micro-branching instability. This transition is associated with the appearance of conics patterns on fracture surfaces that, in many materials, are the signature of damage spreading through the nucleation and growth of microcracks. A simple model allows to relate both the energetic and fractographic measurements. These results suggest that dynamic fracture at low velocities in amorphous materials is controlled by the brittle/quasi-brittle transition studied here.
Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures, published version, Article highlighted in Physical Review Focus (February 12th, 2010)
Physics - Classical Physics, Condensed Matter - Materials Science