An energy-consistent fracture model for ferroelectrics
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The fracture behavior of ferroelectrics has been intensively studied in recent decades, though currently a widely accepted fracture mechanism is still lacking. In this work, enlightened by previous experimental observations that crack propagation in ferroelectrics is always accompanied by domain switching, we propose a micromechanical model in which both crack propagation and domain switching are controlled by energy-based criteria. Both electric energy and mechanical energy can induce domain switching, while only mechanical energy can drive crack propagation. Furthermore, constrained domain switching is considered in this model, leading to the gradient domain switching zone near the crack tip. Analysis results show that stress-induced ferroelastic switching always has a toughening effect as the mechanical energy release rate serves as the driving force for both fracture and domain switching. In comparison, the electric-field-induced switching may have either a toughening or detoughening effect. The proposed model can qualitatively agree with the existing experimental results.