The propagation of mode I cracks in a three-dimensional icosahedral model quasicrystal has been studied by molecular dynamics techniques. In particular, the dependence on the plane structure and the influence of clusters have been investigated. Crack propagation was simulated in planes perpendicular to five-, two- and pseudo-twofold axes of the binary icosahedral model.
Brittle fracture without any crack tip plasticity is observed. The fracture surfaces turn out to be rough on the scale of the clusters. These are not strictly circumvented, but to some extent cut by the dynamic crack. However, compared to the flat seed cracks the clusters are intersected less frequently. Thus the roughness of the crack surfaces can be attributed to the clusters, whereas the constant average heights of the fracture surfaces reflect the plane structure of the quasicrystal. Furthermore a distinct anisotropy with respect to the in-plane propagation direction is found.