A Caltech Library Service

An Experimental Method to Induce and Measure Crack Propagation in Brittle Polymers with Heterogeneities

Mac Donald, Kimberley and Ravichandran, Guruswami (2018) An Experimental Method to Induce and Measure Crack Propagation in Brittle Polymers with Heterogeneities. In: Fracture, Fatigue, Failure and Damage Evolution. Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series. Vol.6. Springer , Cham, pp. 21-23. ISBN 978-3-319-95878-1.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Facture mechanics of heterogeneous brittle solids is a field of active research due to the recent developments in additive manufacturing to fabricate components with complex engineered microstructures. The majority of experimental work in crack propagation uses data from a single plane, usually on free surfaces, to measure the displacement field around the crack and the crack tip location. These measurements are used to determine the crack tip fields and fracture toughness which provides insights about the failure of a material. However, it is well known from three dimensional theory and experiments that the crack front shape and stress distribution is not constant through the thickness of a specimen. When toughening heterogeneities are added to a material, the theories and mechanics become significantly more complex. To better understand these stresses and shapes for both homogeneous and heterogeneous materials, an experimental method has been developed to induce steady-state crack propagation in thin, brittle hydrogel polymers. A microfilament needle inserted into the specimens allows for fluid to enter the crack and exert pressure on the crack surface, which effectively wedges the crack open. Distributed fluorescent microspheres serve as a speckle pattern for Digital Volume Correlation (DVC) of volumetric images captured using confocal microscopy. The DVC displacement field allows for determination of the 3D crack tip fields. This study seeks to provide an enhanced understanding of the three dimensional nature of crack interactions with heterogeneities and renucleation events, which can significantly improve our ability to design material toughness.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Mac Donald, Kimberley0000-0003-4512-9740
Ravichandran, Guruswami0000-0002-2912-0001
Additional Information:© 2019 The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. First Online: 19 September 2018. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Grant No. DGE-1144469 and Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) Award No. DMS-1535083. Imaging was performed in the Biological Imaging Facility, with the support of the Caltech Beckman Institute and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
Caltech Beckman InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Arnold and Mabel Beckman FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Confocal microscopy; Digital Volume Correlation (DVC); Fracture mechanics; Heterogeneities; Soft polymers
Series Name:Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200828-160943420
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105156
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Aug 2020 23:15
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:40

Repository Staff Only: item control page