Athermal quasistatic cavitation in amorphous solids: Effect of random pinning

UA Dattani and S Karmakar and P Chaudhuri, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 159, 204501 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0171905

Amorphous solids are known to fail catastrophically via fracture, and cavitation at nano-metric scales is known to play a significant role in such a failure process. Micro-alloying via inclusions is often used as a means to increase the fracture toughness of amorphous solids. Modeling such inclusions as randomly pinned particles that only move affinely and do not participate in plastic relaxations, we study how the pinning influences the process of cavitation-driven fracture in an amorphous solid. Using extensive numerical simulations and probing in the athermal quasistatic limit, we show that just by pinning a very small fraction of particles, the tensile strength is increased, and also the cavitation is delayed. Furthermore, the cavitation that is expected to be spatially heterogeneous becomes spatially homogeneous by forming a large number of small cavities instead of a dominant cavity. The observed behavior is rationalized in terms of screening of plastic activity via the pinning centers, characterized by a screening length extracted from the plastic- eigenmodes.

Return to Publications page