Dynamic instabilities in fracture

Emily S.C. Ching, J. S. Langer, Hiizu Nakanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


We find that moving cracks are strongly unstable against deflection in essentially all conventional cohesive-zone models of fracture dynamics. This instability is governed by detailed mechanisms of deformation and decohesion at crack tips; it cannot be detected by quasistatic far-field theories that consider only energy balance and neglect relevant dynamic degrees of freedom. Our picture of intrinsic instability is consistent with a wide range of experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1090
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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