Dynamic fracture of expanding cavities in nonlinear soft solids

Matt P. Milner, Shelby B. Hutchens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent experimental observation [Milner, M. P., and Hutchens, S. B., 2021, “Multi-Crack Formation in Soft Solids During High Rate Cavity Expansion,” Mech. Mater., 154, p. 103741] suggests that crack formation during rapid cavity expansion in low modulus, highly deformable solids depends on the ratio of the rate of expansion and the acoustoelastic wave speed, similar to observations in rock and metal [Grady, D., and Kipp, M., 1987, “Dynamic Rock Fragmentation,” Fracture Mechanics of Rock, Elsevier, p. 429475]. Here, we explore the effect of material nonlinearity on predictions of the number of cracks formed at the cavity surface. We find that nonlinearity influences crack formation only when the cavity size normalized elasto-fracture length is greater than one and the cavity’s rate of expansion is greater than the acoustoelastic wave speed. The sensitivity of these predictions for two idealized fracture geometries, either a spherical damaged zone or discrete cracks, suggests a direction for further experimentation that may illuminate crack formation mechanisms in soft solids under dynamic loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number081008
JournalJournal of Applied Mechanics, Transactions ASME
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamics
  • Elasticity
  • Flow
  • Fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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