Sudden deceleration or acceleration of an intersonic shear crack

Gaofeng Guo, Wei Yang*, Y. Huang, A. J. Rosakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Sudden jumps in the crack tip velocity were revealed by numerical simulation (in both continuum/cohesive element and molecular dynamics approaches) and experiments for rapid shear cracking. The cracking velocity may accelerate from a sub-Rayleigh speed to the intersonic range, or from an intersonic speed to a higher one, when the reflected impact wave reloads the crack tip. On the other hand, the cracking velocity may decelerate from an intersonic speed to a lower one or recede to the sub-Rayleigh range when the fracture driving force declines. The velocity change encountered during intersonic cracking plays a different role from that in the acceleration or deceleration of a subsonic crack. A crack propagating at an intersonic speed would leave a shear wave trailing behind. When the crack decelerates or accelerates, the effect of the trailing wave will lead to a transition period from one steady-state solution of crack tip singularity to another. This investigation aims at quantifying these processes. The full field solution of an intersonic mode II crack whose speed changed suddenly from one velocity (intersonic or subsonic) to another (intersonic or subsonic) is given in closed form. The solution is facilitated via superposing a series of propagating crack problems that are loaded by dislocations to seal the unwanted crack-face sliding or by concentrated forces moving at various speeds to negate the crack-face traction. In contrast to the subsonic solution, the results in the intersonic case indicate that the elastic fields around the crack tip depend on the deceleration or acceleration history that is traced back over a long time. Singularity matching dictates the jump that may actually take place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-331
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2003


  • A. Dynamic fracture
  • A. Stress intensity factor
  • B. Deceleration and acceleration
  • B. Elastic material
  • C. Integral transform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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