A Caltech Library Service

A three-dimensional analysis of crack trapping and bridging by tough particles

Bower, A. F. and Ortiz, M. (1991) A three-dimensional analysis of crack trapping and bridging by tough particles. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 39 (6). pp. 815-858. ISSN 0022-5096. doi:10.1016/0022-5096(91)90026-K.

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

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The toughness of a brittle material may be substantially improved by adding small quantities of tough particles to the solid. Three mechanisms may be responsible. Firstly, the front of a crack propagating through the solid can be trapped by the particles, causing it to bow out between them. Secondly, the particles may remain intact in the wake of the crack, thereby pinning its faces and reducing the crack tip stress intensity factors. Finally, the toughness may be enhanced by frictional energy dissipation as particles are pulled out in the wake of the crack. This paper estimates the improvement in toughness that might be expected due to these mechanisms, by means of a three-dimensional model. The analysis considers a semi-infinite crack propagating through a brittle matrix material, which contains a regular distribution of tough particles. Particles in the wake of the crack are modelled by finding an appropriate distribution of point forces that pin the crack faces; and the effect of the crack bowing between obstacles is included by means of an incremental perturbation method based on work byRice [J. Appl. Mech.56, 619 (1985)]. The calculation predicts the shape of the crack as it propagates through the solid; the resulting R-curve behaviour; and the length of the bridged zone in the wake of the crack.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Ortiz, M.0000-0001-5877-4824
Additional Information:© 1991 Pergamon Press. Received 23 May 1990. The support of the Office of Naval Research through grant N00014-85-K-0720 is gratefully acknowledged.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-85-K-0720
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180102-162806476
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:A.F. Bower, M. Ortiz, A three-dimensional analysis of crack trapping and bridging by tough particles, In Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Volume 39, Issue 6, 1991, Pages 815-858, ISSN 0022-5096, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84049
Deposited By: Lydia Suarez
Deposited On:03 Jan 2018 18:49
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:16

Repository Staff Only: item control page