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To better understand the formation and evolution of hierarchical crack networks in shales, observations of microscopic damage, and crack growth were conducted using an in situ tensile apparatus inside a scanning electron microscope. An arched specimen with an artificial notch incised into the curved edge was shown to afford effective observation of the damage and crack growth process that occurs during the brittle fracturing of shale. Because this arched specimen design can induce a squeezing effect, reducing the tensile stress concentration at the crack tip, and preventing the brittle shale from unstable fracturing to some extent. Both induced and natural pores and cracks were observed at different scales around the main crack path or on fractured surfaces. Observations indicate that the crack initiation zone develops around the crack tip where tensile stresses are concentrated and micro/nanoscale cracks nucleate. Crack advancement generally occurs by the continuous generation and coalescence of damage zones having intermittent en echelon microscopic cracks located ahead of the crack tips. Mineral anisotropy and pressure build-up around crack tips causes crack kinking, deflection, and branching. Crack growth is often accompanied by the cessation or closure of former branch cracks due to elastic recovery and induced compressive stress. The branching and interactions of cracks form a three-dimensional hierarchical network that includes induced branch cracks having similar paths, as well as natural structures such as nanopores, bedding planes, and microscopic cracks.
Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) exhibit high yield strength but little tensile ductility. For this class of materials, damage tolerance is a key mechanical design parameter needed for their engineering use. Recently we have discovered a correlation between the local structural characteristics in the glass and the propensity for shear transformations. Based on the dependence of glass structure on alloy composition, zirconium (Zr)-rich Zr–titanium (Ti)–copper (Cu)–aluminum (Al) compositions are predicted to be more prone to spread-out plastic deformation and hence profuse shear banding. This structural perspective has guided us to locate a Zr61Ti2Cu25Al12 (ZT1) BMG that exhibits a record-breaking fracture toughness, on par with the palladium (Pd)-based BMG recently developed at Caltech. At the same time, the new BMG consists of common metals and has robust glass-forming ability. Interestingly, the ZT1 BMG derives its high toughness from its high propensity for crack deflection and local loading-mode change (from mode I to substantially mode II) at the crack tip due to extensive shear band interactions. A crack-resistance curve (R-curve) has been obtained following American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards, employing both “single-specimen” and “multiple-specimen” techniques as well as fatigue precracked specimens. The combination of high strength and fracture toughness places ZT1 atop all engineering metallic alloys in the strength–toughness Ashby diagram, pushing the envelop accessible to a structural material in terms of its damage tolerance.
Ce travail présente des analyses fractographiques de fissures de fatigue
dans le caoutchouc naturel chargé aux noirs de carbone. Afin
d'identifier les mécanismes de propagation de fissure, il est
nécessaire de connaître l'état de la microstructure autour du
fond de fissure. Nous avons donc mis au point une technique permettant de
micro-découper le fond de fissure lors d'observations au microscope
électronique à balayage (MEB). Cette technique utilise
simultanément l'énergie mécanique apportée par
l'étirement statique de l'éprouvette dans le MEB et l'énergie
fournie par la concentration du faisceau électronique du MEB sur la zone
d'observation. Les résultats de ces observations montrent que
l'endommagement par fatigue au fond de fissure est dû à la
cavitation engendrée par la décohésion entre la matrice
polymère et les oxydes.
This paper develops an analytical model for the plastic collapse of a statically indeterminate rectangular beam containing a crack. Limit analysis, elastic-plastic fracture mechanics, compliance and J-integral concepts are used to study JIC and dJ/da that influence the crack propagation. The relations among the plastic hinge, applied load, linear displacement, rotational angle and crack growth leads to a better understanding of the problem as a consequence of this study. The conclusions are: (1) Unstable ductile fracture occurs at the crack propagates before plastic collapse or at dJ/da is smaller than the minimum critical value. (2) LBB (leak-before-break) characteristic of the statically indeterminate rectangular beam is valid if the crack propagates before plastic collapse.
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