Thermodynamics of Brittle Fracture

Report No. ARL-TR-3659
Authors: Michael A. Grinfeld and Tim W. Wright
Date/Pages: September 2005; 16 pages
Abstract: This report outlines the results of the effort to suggest a theoretical method of describing brittle ceramic armor. We analyze thermodynamics and kinetics of brittle fracture by combining the Gibbs approach to the study of heterogeneous thermodynamic systems, the Griffith energetic criterion for crack growth, and the Onsager irreversible thermodynamics. The central object of the study is the exchange between accumulated elastic energy and ?chemical? energy accumulated in cohesive bonds of material particles. One of the main thrusts of the research is development of a continuum model describing dwell-defeat transition for a metallic projectile hitting ceramic armor. As compared with known theories of fracture, we describe the morphology of the damaged zone. This makes our approach somewhat similar to the Gibbs theory of heterogeneous systems.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2005