Strain rate influence on fracture development in experimental ductile multilayers

Enrique Gomez-Rivas* (Corresponding Author), Albert Griera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The far-field strain rate is a crucial parameter that controls the transition between brittle and ductile deformation. We have used analogue experiments to study the strain rate influence on the development of brittle fractures in a ductile composite material. Plasticine multilayer models were deformed under coaxial boundary conditions at three different strain rates to analyse the transition from non-localised deformation to the development of a brittle fracture network that accommodates part of the deformation. The results show that tension cracks and voids are the first macroscopic structures that nucleate after an early stage of ductile deformation. Coalescence and collapse of these structures lead to the development of brittle shear fractures. The evolution of fracture orientations, lengths and displacements was systematically analysed. The ratio of the accumulated fracture displacement vs. fracture length (d(max)/L) depends not only on the total deformation, but also on the strain rate at which the system is deformed. The accumulated displacement with respect to fracture length increases with strain rate. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-363
Number of pages13
Issue number3-4
Early online date19 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

This work was financed through the PhD grant BES-2003-0755 to EGR and research project CGL2004-03657, both funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. We thank J. Carreras and E. Druguet for discussions on various aspects related to this work, and to P.D. Bons and M.W. Jessell for many valuable suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge G. Zulauf and N.S. Mancktelow, whose constructive reviews greatly improved the manuscript, together with the editorial guidance of F. Storti.


  • analogue modelling
  • strain rate
  • multilayer
  • shear fracture
  • fracture displacement
  • shear zones
  • flanking structures
  • brittle-fracture
  • fault
  • deformation
  • fluid
  • flow
  • rock
  • displacement
  • propagation


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