Volume 62, Number 3, May 2003
|Page(s)||320 - 326|
|Published online||01 April 2003|
Thermal activation of rupture and slow crack growth in a model of homogeneous brittle materials
Laboratoire de physique, CNRS UMR 5672,
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
46 allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France
2 Université de Polynésie Française - BP 6570 FAA'A, Tahiti, French Polynesia
3 Ecole Centrale de Lyon - 69134 Ecully, France
Accepted: 28 February 2003
Slow crack growth in a model of homogeneous brittle elastic material is described as a thermal activation process where stress fluctuations allow to overcome a breaking threshold through a series of irreversible steps. We study the case of a single crack in a flat sheet for which analytical predictions can be made, and compare them with results from the equivalent problem of a 2D spring network. Good statistical agreement is obtained for the crack growth profile and final rupture time. The specific scaling of the energy barrier with stress intensity factor appears as a consequence of irreversibility. In addition, the model brings out a characteristic growth length whose physical meaning could be tested experimentally.
PACS: 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics / 62.20.Mk – Fatigue, brittleness, fracture, and cracks
© EDP Sciences, 2003
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