Atomic-scale modeling of crack branching in oxide glass

Jian Luo, Binghui Deng, K. Deenamma Vargheese, Adama Tandia, Steven E. DeMartino, John C. Mauro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Brittle oxide glasses can easily break into fragments because of crack branching during fracture. The fundamental mechanism underlying this common phenomenon remains controversial. In this study, using atomic-scale simulations with three independent force fields, we directly observe crack branching in silica glass. The critical speed at which the crack branches increases with the critical far field loading. The atomic simulations revealed that crack branching in brittle silica glass is triggered by the nucleation of two or three cavities at different directions ahead of the running crack tip. We compared the simulation results to the cavities observed on the fracture surface in a glass fiber broken under high stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117098
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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