Scratching as a fracture process: From butter to steel

A. T. Akono, P. M. Reis, F. J. Ulm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results of a hybrid experimental and theoretical investigation of the fracture scaling in scratch tests and show that scratching is a fracture dominated process. Validated for paraffin wax, cement paste, Jurassic limestone and steel, we derive a model that provides a quantitative means to relate quantities measured in scratch tests to fracture properties of materials at multiple scales. The scalability of scratching for different probes and depths opens new venues towards miniaturization of our technique, to extract fracture properties of materials at even smaller length scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204302
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 20 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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