Calculus of Variations and Geometric Measure Theory

A. Chambolle - A. Giacomini - M. Ponsiglione

Crack initiation in brittle materials

created by ponsiglio on 06 Oct 2005
modified on 25 Jun 2008


Published Paper

Inserted: 6 oct 2005
Last Updated: 25 jun 2008

Journal: Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal.
Volume: 188
Number: 2
Pages: 309-349
Year: 2008


In this paper we study the crack initiation in a hyper-elastic body governed by a Griffith's type energy. We prove that, during a load process through a time dependent boundary datum of the type $t$ to $ t g(x)$ and in absence of strong singularities (this is the case of homogeneous isotropic materials) the crack initiation is brutal, i.e., a big crack appears after a positive time $t_i>0$. On the contrary, in presence of a point $x$ of strong singularity, a crack will depart from $x$ at the initial time of loading and with zero velocity. We prove these facts (largely expected by the experts of material science) for admissible cracks belonging to the large class of closed one dimensional sets with a finite number of connected components.

The main tool we employ to address the problem is a local minimality result for free discontinuity problems involving bulk and surface energies. We prove that if the uncracked configuration relative to a boundary displacement has uniformly weak singularities, then configurations with small cracks have more energy then the uncracked configuration. \vskip .3truecm \noindent Keywords : free discontinuity problems, energy minimization, crack initiation, variational models.

Keywords: variational models, free discontinuity problems, energy minimization, crack initiation