Dynamic crack deflection and penetration at interfaces in homogeneous materials: Experimental studies and model predictions

L. Roy Xu, Yonggang Y. Huang, Ares J. Rosakis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations


We examine the deflection/penetration behavior of dynamic mode-I cracks propagating at various speeds towards inclined weak planes/interfaces of various strengths in otherwise homogeneous isotropic plates. A dynamic wedge-loading mechanism is used to control the incoming crack speeds, and high-speed photography and dynamic photoelasticity are used to observe, in real-time, the failure mode transition mechanism at the interfaces. Simple dynamic fracture mechanics concepts used in conjunction with a postulated energy criterion are applied to examine the crack deflection/penetration behavior and, for the case of interfacial deflection, to predict the crack tip speed of the deflected crack. It is found that if the interfacial angle and strength are such as to trap an incident dynamic mode-I crack within the interface, a failure mode transition occurs. This transition is characterized by a distinct, observable and predicted speed jump as well as a dramatic crack speed increase as the crack transitions from a purely mode-I crack to an unstable mixed-mode interfacial crack.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-486
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003



  • A. Dynamic fracture
  • A. Energy release rate
  • B. Layered material
  • C. Impact test
  • Crack deflection and penetration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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