Dissolution driven crack branching in polycarbonate

U. Hejman, Christina Bjerkén

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1 Citation (SciVal)


Stress corrosion, in the form of chemically assisted crack growth, in polycarbonate is examined with focus on crack branching characteristics. Cracks with finite width are observed; this is to be expected for dissolution driven cracking. The cracks branched repeatedly and crack widths before and after branching are measured. Both symmetric and asymmetric branching is found. The dissolution rate is assumed to be a linear function of the strain along the crack surface. In the literature, it is proposed that the crack width is proportional to the square of the mode I stress intensity factor. Energy considerations lead to that the sum of branch widths must equal the width of the unbranched crack. The results from this study correspond fairly well with this assumption. The branching angle is found to be 32 degrees +/- 12 degrees, which is in line with results for sharp cracks reported in the literature. The mean growth direction of the branches is found to deviate slightly from the expected straight. No significant correlation between angles and crack widths is found. The scatter in results is mainly addressed to the inherent perturbation sensitivity of stress corrosion cracking. Also numerically simulations of crack branching is performed. These results show promising agreement with the experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-239
JournalFatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Materials Engineering


  • branching
  • dissolution
  • experiment
  • finite element modelling
  • polycarbonate
  • stress corrosion cracking


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