Cracks in Fracture Mechanics : A Time Indexed Family of Energy Minimizers

  • G. A. Francfort
  • J-J. Marigo
Part of the Solid Mechanics and Its Applications book series (SMIA, volume 66)


Brittle fracture mechanics is classically thought of as operating under various restrictive premises, two of which seem both drastic and unrealistic: no crack will appear unless a crack is already present; cracks propagate along predefined trajectories. Our main goal is to do away with the above, while departing as little as possible from the sanctity of Griffith’s criterion. In a nutshell, the following will be achieved:
  1. 1.

    crack initiation, and its subsequent evolution till complete failure of the loaded sample,

  2. 2.

    complete freedom in the mechanical and geometric characteristics of the sample,

  3. 3.

    boundary cracks,

  4. 4.

    unilateral contact if needed.



Displacement Field Unilateral Contact Bulk Energy Actual Crack Boundary Crack 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. A. Francfort
    • 1
  • J-J. Marigo
    • 1
  1. 1.LPMTM (UP R-CNRS 9001)Institut Galilée, Université Paris-NordVilletaneuseFrance

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