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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