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Plastic Dynamics and Brittle vs. Ductile Failure in Noncrystalline Solids

  • M.L. Falk (a1)

Abstract

We simulate fracture in two amorphous solids with different inter-particle potentials. These small changes in potential result in significant changes in dissipation near the crack tip. While one might expect these effects to arise from a change in flow stress, measurements reveal this is not the case. To understand why, we consider the relationship between crack dynamics, rate-dependent plasticity, and molecular-level structures in the glassy solid. In particular we discuss the macro-scale continuum theory of dynamic brittle fracture in a viscoplastic solid developed by Freund and Hutchinson and the meso-scale theory of viscoplasticity proposed by Falk and Langer. We further consider a simplified model on the molecular scale as a first-step toward the construction of first-principles models of dynamic plasticity and the brittle ductile transition in noncrystalline materials.

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