The poker-chip experiments of Gent and Lindley (1959) explained

Aditya Kumar, Oscar Lopez-Pamies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite being commonly credited with initiating the field of cavitation in elastomers, the famed poker-chip experiments of Gent and Lindley (1959) have yet to be fully explained. One likely reason for their elusiveness is that it had long been presumed that cavitation in elastomers was a phenomenon that could be explained solely on the basis of the elasticity of the elastomer at hand. Of late, full-field analyses and experiments carried out at high spatiotemporal resolution have impugned such a belief by indicating, instead, that cavitation in elastomers is first and foremost a fracture phenomenon. In that spirit, Kumar, Francfort, and Lopez-Pamies (2018) have introduced a comprehensive macroscopic phase-field theory for the nucleation and propagation of fracture in elastomers undergoing arbitrarily large quasistatic deformations. The purpose of this paper is to deploy this theory in order to explain in a detailed and quantitative manner the seminal poker-chip experiments of Gent and Lindley.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104359
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cavitation
  • Defects
  • Elastomers
  • Fracture
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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