Linear stability analysis for propagating fracture

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


To study the stability of mode I (opening-mode) fracture, we consider a two-dimensional system in which a crack moves along the center line of a very wide, infinitely long strip. We compute the first-order response of the crack to a spatially periodic, perturbing shear stress. We assume isotropic linear elasticity in the strip and a cohesive-zone model of the crack tip. The behavior of this system is strongly sensitive to the dynamics within the cohesive zone; stability cannot be deduced simply from properties of the far-field stress-intensity factors. When the mode I and mode II (sliding-mode) fracture energies are equal, the crack is marginally stable at zero speed and is unstable against deflection at all nonzero speeds. However, when the cohesive stress has a shear component that strongly resists bending into mode II, there is a nonvanishing critical velocity for the onset of instability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2864-2880
Number of pages17
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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