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Quantitative Analysis of Crack Closure Driven by Laplace Pressure in Silica Glass

Authors

  • Gaël Pallares,

    1. Laboratoire des Colloïdes, Verres et Nanomatériaux, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, France
    2. CEA, IRAMIS, SPCSI, Grp. Complex Systems & Fracture, F-91191 Gif Sur Yvette, France
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  • Antoine Grimaldi,

    1. Laboratoire des Colloïdes, Verres et Nanomatériaux, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, France
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  • Matthieu George,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire des Colloïdes, Verres et Nanomatériaux, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, France
      †Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail: mgeorge@univ-montp2.fr
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  • Laurent Ponson,

    1. Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125
    2. CNRS and UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7190, Institut Jean le Rond d'Alembert, F-75005 Paris, France
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  • Matteo Ciccotti

    1. Laboratoire des Colloïdes, Verres et Nanomatériaux, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2, France
    2. Laboratoire PPMD-SIMM, UMR 7615, ESPCI, CNRS, Université Paris 6, France
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  • T. Rouxel—contributing editor

  • This work was supported by the ANR Grant “Corcosil” No. ANR-07-BLAN-0261-02. L. Ponson is supported by the European Union through the “Phycracks” Marie Curie fellowship.

†Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail: mgeorge@univ-montp2.fr

Abstract

Crack tips in silica glass in moist atmosphere are filled with an equilibrium liquid condensation of a few hundred nanometers length. Not only does this local environment affect the chemistry of slow crack propagation by stress corrosion, but it also has an important mechanical effect due to its highly negative Laplace pressure. The present article presents an original technique for measuring the physical properties of the liquid condensation in terms of the Laplace pressure and critical condensation distance. This is achieved by combining in situ atomic force microscopy measurements of the condensate length and optical determination of the crack closure threshold in a double cleavage drilled compression specimen.

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