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Published January 15, 2021 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Fracture Diodes: Directional Asymmetry of Fracture Toughness


Toughness describes the ability of a material to resist fracture or crack propagation. It is demonstrated here that fracture toughness of a material can be asymmetric, i.e., the resistance of a medium to a crack propagating from right to left can be significantly different from that to a crack propagating from left to right. Such asymmetry is unknown in natural materials, but we show that it can be built into artificial materials through the proper control of microstructure. This paves the way for control of crack paths and direction, where fracture—when unavoidable—can be guided through predesigned paths to minimize loss of critical components.

Additional Information

© 2021 American Physical Society. (Received 8 June 2020; accepted 23 November 2020; published 14 January 2021) This work was conducted while N. R. B. and S. B. were at Caltech. We are grateful to Paolo Celli and Kevin Korner for their help in preparing the PMMA specimens. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the U.S. National Science Foundation (Grants No. DMS-1535083 and No. 1535076) under the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) Program. The development of the numerical codes used here was supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation DMS-1716763. The numerical simulations were performed at the Caltech high performance cluster supported in part by the Moore Foundation.

Attached Files

Published - PhysRevLett.126.025503.pdf

Supplemental Material - supplementary_information.pdf


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August 20, 2023
October 23, 2023