Crack patterns over uneven substrates

Nandakishore, P. and Goehring, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-3858-7295, 2016. Crack patterns over uneven substrates. Soft Matter, 12 (8), pp. 2253-2263. ISSN 1744-683X

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Cracks in thin layers are influenced by what lies beneath them. From buried craters to crocodile skin, crack patterns are found over an enormous range of length scales. Regardless of absolute size, their substrates can dramatically influence how cracks form, guiding them in some cases, or shielding regions from them in others. Here we investigate how a substrate’s shape affects the appearance of cracks above it, by preparing mud cracks over sinusoidally varying surfaces. We find that as the thickness of the cracking layer increases, the observed crack patterns change from wavy to ladder-like to isotropic. Two order parameters are introduced to measure the relative alignment of these crack networks, and, along with Fourier methods, are used to characterise the transitions between crack pattern types. Finally, we explain these results with a model, based on the Griffith criteria of fracture, that identifies the conditions for which straight or wavy cracks will be seen, and predicts how well-ordered the cracks will be. Our metrics and results can be applied to any situation where connected networks of cracks are expected, or found.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Soft Matter
Creators: Nandakishore, P. and Goehring, L.
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Date: 2016
Volume: 12
Number: 8
ISSN: 1744-683X
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 05 Sep 2016 10:41
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:05

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