Phase-Field Model of Mode III Dynamic Fracture

Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 045501 – Published 3 July 2001
Alain Karma, David A. Kessler, and Herbert Levine


We introduce a phenomenological continuum model for the mode III dynamic fracture that is based on the phase-field methodology used extensively to model interfacial pattern formation. We couple a scalar field, which distinguishes between “broken” and “unbroken” states of the system, to the displacement field in a way that consistently includes both macroscopic elasticity and a simple rotationally invariant short-scale description of breaking. We report two-dimensional simulations that yield steady-state crack motion in a strip geometry above the Griffith threshold.


  • Received 25 April 2001
  • Published 3 July 2001

© 2001 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Alain Karma1, David A. Kessler2, and Herbert Levine3

  • 1Department of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
  • 2Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
  • 3Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0319

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