Tunneling Cracks in Constrained Layers

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Ho, Z. Suo

Mechanical Engineering Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5070

J. Appl. Mech 60(4), 890-894 (Dec 01, 1993) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2900998 History: Received May 30, 1991; Revised August 17, 1992; Online March 31, 2008


A thin, brittle layer bonded between tougher substrates is susceptible to cracking under residual and applied stresses. Such a crack initiates from an equi-axed flaw, confined by the substrates, tunneling in the brittle layer. Although tunneling is a three-dimensional process, the energy release rate at the front of a steady-state tunnel can be computed using plane strain fields. Several technically important problems are analyzed, including tunnels in adhesive joints, shear fracture, and kinked tunnels in a reaction product layer. The concept is finally applied to microcracking in brittle matrix composites caused by thermal expansion mismatch.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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