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Issue 25, 2016
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How cracks are hot and cool: a burning issue for paper

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Material failure is accompanied by important heat exchange, with extremely high temperature – thousands of degrees – reached at crack tips. Such a temperature may subsequently alter the mechanical properties of stressed solids, and finally facilitate their rupture. Thermal runaway weakening processes could indeed explain stick-slip motions and even be responsible for deep earthquakes. Therefore, to better understand catastrophic rupture events, it appears crucial to establish an accurate energy budget of fracture propagation from a clear measure of various energy dissipation sources. In this work, combining analytical calculations and numerical simulations, we directly relate the temperature field around a moving crack tip to the part α of mechanical energy converted into heat. By monitoring the slow crack growth in paper sheets using an infrared camera, we measure a significant fraction α = 12% ± 4%. Besides, we show that (self-generated) heat accumulation could weaken our samples by microfiber combustion, and lead to a fast crack/dynamic failure/regime.

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The article was received on 11 Mar 2016, accepted on 11 May 2016 and first published on 11 May 2016

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM00615A
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Citation: Soft Matter, 2016,12, 5563-5571
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    How cracks are hot and cool: a burning issue for paper

    R. Toussaint, O. Lengliné, S. Santucci, T. Vincent-Dospital, M. Naert-Guillot and K. J. Måløy, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 5563
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SM00615A

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