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Fracture in Mode I using a Conserved Phase-Field Model

By L. O. Eastgate, J. P. Sethna, M. Rauscher, T. Cretegny, C. -S. Chen and C. R. Myers


We present a continuum phase-field model of crack propagation. It includes a phase-field that is proportional to the mass density and a displacement field that is governed by linear elastic theory. Generic macroscopic crack growth laws emerge naturally from this model. In contrast to classical continuum fracture mechanics simulations, our model avoids numerical front tracking. The added phase-field smoothes the sharp interface, enabling us to use equations of motion for the material (grounded in basic physical principles) rather than for the interface (which often are deduced from complicated theories or empirical observations). The interface dynamics thus emerges naturally. In this paper, we look at stationary solutions of the model, mode I fracture, and also discuss numerical issues. We find that the Griffith's threshold underestimates the critical value at which our system fractures due to long wavelength modes excited by the fracture process.Comment: 10 pages, 5 figures (eps). Added 2 figures and some text. Removed one section (and a figure). To be published in PR

Topics: Condensed Matter - Materials Science, Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter
Publisher: 'American Physical Society (APS)'
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevE.65.036117
OAI identifier:

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