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Applicability of Continuum Fracture Mechanics in Atomistic Systems

[+] Author Affiliations
Shao-Huan Cheng, C. T. Sun

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Paper No. IMECE2011-63478, pp. 283-288; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 8: Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Fluids; Vibration, Acoustics and Wave Propagation
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5494-5
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Stress intensity factor is one of the most significant fracture parameters in linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM). Due to its simplicity, many researchers directly employed this concept to explain their results from molecular simulation. However, stress intensity factor defines the amplitude of the singular stress, which is the product of continuum elasticity. Under atomistic systems without the stress singularity, the concept of stress intensity factor must be examined. In addition, the difficulty of studying the stress intensity factor in atomistic systems may be traced back to the ambiguous definition of the local atomistic stress. In this study, the definition of the local virial stress is adopted. Subsequently, through the consideration of K-dominance, the approximated stress intensity factor based on the atomistic stress can be projected within a reasonable region. Moreover, the influence of cutting interatomic bonds to create traction free crack surfaces and the critical stress intensity factor is also discussed.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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