International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 142, Issue 1–2, pp 51–67 | Cite as

Material-independent crack arrest statistics: application to indentation experiments

  • Yann Charles
  • François Hild
  • Stéphane Roux
  • Damien Vandembroucq
Research Article


An extensive experimental study of indentation and crack arrest statistics is presented for four different brittle materials (alumina, silicon carbide, silicon nitride, glass). Evidence is given that the crack length statistics is described by a universal (i.e., material independent) distribution. The latter directly derives from results obtained when modeling crack propagation as a depinning phenomenon. Crack arrest (or effective toughness) statistics appears to be fully characterized by two parameters, namely, an asymptotic crack length (or macroscopic toughnes) value and a power law size-dependent width. The experimental knowledge of the crack arrest statistics at one given scale thus gives access to its knowledge at all scales.


Brittle fracture Crack arrest Heterogeneity Depinning Indentation Probability and statistics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yann Charles
    • 1
    • 2
  • François Hild
    • 1
  • Stéphane Roux
    • 3
  • Damien Vandembroucq
    • 3
  1. 1.LMT-CachanENS de Cachan/CNRS-UMR 8535/Université Paris 6Cachan CedexFrance
  2. 2.LPMTM, CNRS UPR-9001 / Université Paris 13VilletaneuseFrance
  3. 3.Surface du Verre et InterfacesUnité Mixte CNRS/Saint-GobainAubervilliers CedexFrance

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