Fracture and adhesion of soft materials : a review, Reports on Progress in Physics, 2016.

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Soft Materials are materials with a low shear modulus relative to their bulk modulus and where elastic restoring forces are mainly of entropic origin. A sparse population of strong bonds connects molecules together and prevents macroscopic flow. In this review we discuss the current state of the art on how these soft materials break and detach from solid surfaces. We focus on how stresses and strains are localized near the fracture plane and how elastic energy can flow from the bulk of the material to the crack tip. Adhesion of pressure-sensitiveadhesives, fracture of gels and rubbers are specifically addressed and the key concepts are pointed out. We define the important length scales in the problem and in particular the elasto-adhesive length Γ/E where Γ is the fracture energy and E is the elastic modulus, and how the ratio between sample size and Γ/E controls the fracture mechanisms. Theoretical concepts bridging solid mechanics and polymer physics are rationalized and illustrated by micromechanical experiments and mechanisms of fracture are described in detail. Open question and emerging concepts are discussed at the end of the review.

C Creton and M Ciccotti, 2016.
Fracture and adhesion of soft materials : a review, Rep. Prog.Phys., 79, Art N. 046601.

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