Europhys. Lett.
Volume 71, Number 2, July 2005
Page(s) 242 - 248
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 15 June 2005
Europhys. Lett., 71 (2), pp. 242-248 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10077-3

Slow crack growth in polycarbonate films

P. P. Cortet, S. Santucci, L. Vanel and S. Ciliberto

Laboratoire de Physique, CNRS UMR 5672, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon 46 allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France

received 17 February 2005; accepted in final form 19 May 2005
published online 15 June 2005

We study experimentally the slow growth of a single crack in polycarbonate films submitted to uniaxial and constant imposed stress. The specificity of fracture in polycarbonate films is the appearance of flame-shaped macroscopic process zones at the tips of the crack. Supported by an experimental study of the mechanical properties of polycarbonate films, an analysis of the stress dependence of the mean ratio between the process zone and crack lengths, during the crack growth, shows a quantitative agreement with the Dugdale-Barenblatt model of the plastic process zone. We find that the fracture growth curves obey strong scaling properties that lead to a well-defined growth master curve.

62.20.Mk - Fatigue, brittleness, fracture, and cracks.
62.20.Fe - Deformation and plasticity (including yield, ductility, and superplasticity).
05.70.Fh - Phase transitions: general studies.

© EDP Sciences 2005