The strength of quasibrittle materials depends on the ensemble of defects inside the sample and on the way damage accumulates before failure. Using large-scale numerical simulations of the random fuse model, we investigate the evolution of the microcrack distribution as the applied load approaches the fracture point. We find that the distribution broadens mostly due to a tendency of cracks to coalesce in a way that increases with system size. We study how the observed behavior depends on the disorder present in the sample and relate the results with fracture size effects.
- Fracture mechanics
- fatigue and cracks