Multiscale investigation of stress-corrosion crack propagation mechanisms in oxide glasses, Corr. Rev., 2015.

G Pallares, M George, L Ponson, S Chapuliot, S Roux and Matteo Ciccotti, 2015.
Multiscale investigation of stress-corrosion crack propagation mechanisms in oxide glasses, Corr. Rev., DOI 10.1515/corrrev-2015-0040.

Fracture propagation involves the coupling of many length scales ranging from the sample loading geometry to the molecular level. In brittle materials, the length scales of the damage process zone are reduced to a submicrometric scale and the coupling with the macroscopic scale is expected to be the domain of linear elastic fracture mechanics. However, although 2D elastic analyses are generally adequate to describe the sample deformation at macroscopic scales, local investigations of failure mechanisms at the sample-free surface require the use of 3D mechanical tools due to the crack front local curvature and to the corner point singularities at the intersection between the crack front and the external surfaces of the sample. We present here a thorough multiscale investigation of the slow crack growth of a sharp crack in oxide glasses in the stress-corrosion regime, combining experimental and numerical analyses of the displacement fields from the millimeter scale to the nanoscale range. The principal aim of the study is identifying the length and time scales of the mechanisms of damage and interaction between water and glass, which have been the subject of an extensive debate in the last decades.

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