Potential flow model of cavitation-induced interfacial fracture in a confined ductile layer

Sulin Zhang, K. Jimmy Hsia, Arne J. Pearlstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Fracture of a thin ductile layer sandwiched between stiff substrates often results from growth and coalescence of microscopic cavities ahead of an extending crack. Cavitation induced by plastic flow in a confined, ductile layer is analyzed here to evaluate the interfacial fracture toughness of such sandwich structures. For rigid-plastic materials, a new method is proposed in which the potential flow field of a fluid is used to approximate the plastic deformation. The principle of virtual work rate is applied to determine the equivalent traction-separation law. The method is demonstrated and validated for spherically symmetric cavity growth, for which an exact solution exists. We then study in detail the growth of an initially spherical cavity in a cylindrical bar of finite length subject to uniform traction at its ends. The results show that the stress-separation curves depend strongly on initial cavity size and the strain-hardening exponent, and weakly on the nominal strain. The method has clear advantages over numerical methods, such as finite-element analysis, for parametric study of cavity growth with large plastic deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-569
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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