It has been established that contrast in the elastic properties can lead to enhancement of fracture toughness in heterogeneous materials. Focussing on layered materials as a model system, we show that this enhancement is a result of two distinct phenomena – first, fluctuations in stress leading to regions where the stress intensity at the crack is considerably smaller than that of the macroscopically applied value; and second, the lack of stress intensity when a crack is at a compliant to stiff interface thereby requiring renucleation. Using theoretical, computational and experimental methods, we study two geometries – a layered material and a layered material with a narrow channel – to separate the two phenomena. The stress fluctuation is present in both, but renucleation is present only in the layered medium. We provide quantitative estimates for the enhanced toughness.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Hsueh, C., Avellar, L., Bourdin, B., Ravichandran, G., & Bhattacharya, K. (2018). Stress fluctuation, crack renucleation and toughening in layered materials. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 120, 68-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmps.2018.04.011