Fracture of a model cohesive granular material

Schmeink, A., Goehring, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-3858-7295 and Hemmerle, A., 2017. Fracture of a model cohesive granular material. Soft Matter, 13 (5), pp. 1040-1047. ISSN 1744-683X

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We study experimentally the fracture mechanisms of a model cohesive granular medium consisting of glass beads held together by solidified polymer bridges. The elastic response of this material can be controlled by changing the cross-linking of the polymer phase, for example. Here we show that its fracture toughness can be tuned over an order of magnitude by adjusting the stiffness and size of the polymer bridges. We extract a well-defined fracture energy from fracture testing under a range of material preparations. This energy is found to scale linearly with the cross-sectional area of the bridges. Finally, X-ray
microcomputed tomography shows that crack propagation is driven by adhesive failure of about one polymer bridge per bead located at the interface, along with microcracks in the vicinity of the failure plane. Our findings provide insight into the fracture mechanisms of this model material, and the mechanical properties of disordered cohesive granular media in general.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Soft Matter
Creators: Schmeink, A., Goehring, L. and Hemmerle, A.
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Date: 4 January 2017
Volume: 13
Number: 5
ISSN: 1744-683X
Rights: Open access article. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 03 Feb 2017 15:01
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:12

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