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Alessandro Lucantonio's blog

Hydraulic Fracture and Toughening of a Brittle Layer Bonded to a Hydrogel

AbstractBrittle materials propagate opening cracks under tension. When stress increases beyond a critical magnitude, then quasistatic crack propagation becomes unstable. In the presence of several precracks, a brittle material always propagates only the weakest crack, leading to catastrophic failure. Here, we show that all these features of brittle fracture are fundamentally modified when the material susceptible to cracking is bonded to a hydrogel, a common situation in biological tissues.

Non-linear multiphysics modeling of ionic gels

The paper presents a thermodynamically consistent modeling of the non-linear multiphysics of ionic polymer gels based on the multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient. In particular, the deformations induced by the motion of ions under an applied voltage are viewed as distortions, similarly to growth-induced deformations in soft tissues. Furthermore, a consistent linearization of the model in the regime of small deformations is discussed. Finally, a finite element implementation of the theory is introduced and validated against experimental results.

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