MD simulation of crack propagation in
brittle crystals 118094 - Introduction to Computational Physics - Fall 2012/13Liron Ben-Bashat Bergman |

Overview |
Theory |
Setup |
Results |
Manual |

Theoretical Background
Fracture of brittle crystals is important
because it signals catastrophic failure which immensely reduces the
reliability of brittle crystals, which are nowadays a main building
block in many high tech industries, from MEMS and NEMS to bio-inspired
devices and solar cells. It is complex because of its multi-scale nature
and because crack initiation and propagation is difficult to predict.
Cracks in brittle crystals are atomically sharp and propagate by
breaking bonds by a complicated sequence. This process is greatly
influenced by the anisotropy of the atomic arrangement at the crack tip.
These characteristics prevent from continuum mechanics to describe
atomic scale phenomena. Fig. 1 Ductile fracture of Al vs. brittle
fracture in mild steel## Linear elastic fracture mechanics
Griffith [1]
(1921) was the first to establish the relationship between material
strength and a flaw in the material. He dealt with crack initiation only
and didn’t consider the dynamics involved with the fracture process. The
energy associated with crack initiation in the system is consisted of
the external mechanical work,
,
elastic strain energy,
,
and free surface energy,
:
(1) According to Griffith a crack will initiate when the following apply: namely, when the driving force for crack initiation (the mechanical energy) equilibrates with the internal surface energy per unit area, the material resistance for initiation. The SERR is the mechanical driving force for crack initiation. The material resistance for crack initiation includes all the dissipation mechanisms: (4)
where the lower bound for
.
Freund used Navier elastodynamics equation for
boundary value problem
(BVP) of uniformly distributed compressive stresses on the crack
surfaces of half infinite body and Rice J-Integral for the calculations
of the SERR for crack propagating at constant speed. He defined a
similar criterion to Irwin's except that he used a crack moving at a
temporal velocity, where G(V)
is the temporal total energy release rate:The criterion may be approximated as a linear function of the crack velocity: where V is crack velocity, G(V) is net energy available to propagate the crack, which is the multiplications of the quasi-static SERR, , and a universal dynamic function, g(V). is Rayleigh free surface wave speed, considered as a crack speed limit in solids under pure Mode I. The linear approximation of g(V) provides a sufficient and simple expression which is commonly used by the community of researchers in the field. The above relationship implies that faster cracks involve larger driving forces. Dynamic fracture experiments and numerical observations show that crack speed never attains . The maximal speed a crack can attain is 70%–90% of . This behavior is attributed to the onset of energy dissipation mechanisms such as thermal phonon emission.
Fig. 2 Diamond structure unit cell. References: [1] A.A. Griffith. Phenomena of rupture and flow in solids. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A221 163-198 (1921). [2] Irwin, G. R. Fracture. In handbook of physics, Springer-Verlag, Berlin 6 551 (1958). [3] L. B. Freund. Dynamic fracture mechanics. Cambridge university press (1990). |