Repulsion and Attraction between a Pair of Cracks in a Plastic Sheet

Marie-Julie Dalbe, Juha Koivisto, Loic Vanel, Amandine Miksic, Osvanny Ramos, Mikko Alava, Stephane Santucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


We study the interaction of two collinear cracks in polymer sheets slowly growing towards each other, when submitted to uniaxial stress at a constant loading velocity. Depending on the sample’s geometry—specifically, the initial distances d between the two cracks’ axes and L between the cracks’ tips—we observe different crack paths with, in particular, a regime where the cracks repel each other prior to being attracted. We show that the angle θ characterizing the amplitude of the repulsion—and specifically its evolution with d—depends strongly on the microscopic behavior of the material. Our results highlight the crucial role of the fracture process zone. At interaction distances larger than the process zone size, crack repulsion is controlled by the microscopic shape of the process zone tip, while at shorter distances, the overall plastic process zone screens the repulsion interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205501
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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