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MiS Preprint

Crack initiation in elastic bodies

Antonin Chambolle, Alessandro Giacomini and Marcello Ponsiglione


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 the functional $$\varepsilon (u,\Gamma):=\int_\Omega f(x,\nabla v)\,dx+k\mathcal{H}^1(\Gamma),$$ where $\Omega \subseteq \mathbb{R}^2$, $k>0$ and $f$ is a suitable Carathéodory function. We prove that if the uncracked configuration $u$ of $\Omega$ relative to a boundary displacement $\psi$ has uniformly weak singularities, then configurations $(u_\Gamma \Gamma)$ with $\mathcal{H}^1(\Gamma)$ small enough are such that $\varepsilon (u,\emptyset)<\varepsilon (u_\Gamma,\Gamma)$.

Nov 11, 2005
Nov 11, 2005
MSC Codes:
35R35, 35J85, 35J25, 74R1
46, 81., 91.60.Ba
free discontinuity problems, energy minimization, crack initiation, variational models

Related publications

2008 Journal Open Access
Antonin Chambolle, Alessandro Giacomini and Marcello Ponsiglione

Crack initiation in brittle materials

In: Archive for rational mechanics and analysis, 188 (2008) 2, pp. 309-349