Mode of development of sigmoidal en echelon fractures
The solution of stress distribution for a multicrack system and model experiments confirm that en echelon cracks mutually interact with each other during their growth. Such a mechanical interaction deviates the crack-tip stress axes orientations from that of the bulk stress field and leads to a continuous change in propagation direction of tension cracks, initially at a right angle to the bulk tension direction. The sigmoidal shape of en echelon fractures evolve through rotation and crack length increments with changing orientations. The theoretical analysis shows that the instantaneous fracture-tip stress orientation is a function of initial crack spacing, orientation of crack array with respect to the principal axes of far-field stress.
Volume 130, 2021
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