Fracture mechanics and cavitation in rubber-like solids

A. N. Gent, C. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Citations (Scopus)


Conditions for propagation of a pressurized crack within a rubber-like solid are derived in terms of the elastic properties of rubber, the fracture energy Gc and the initial radius ro of the crack. A previously proposed criterion, that the critical internal pressure Pc for crack growth is given by 5 E/6, where E is the tensile (Young) modulus of elasticity, is shown to be inadequate both for small cracks, when the stiffening of rubber at high strains must be taken into account, and for large cracks, when the critical degree of inflation is so small that the assumptions leading to Pc=5 E/6 do not apply. However, this simple criterion is found to remain a useful guide for cracks having initial radii lying in an intermediate range, such that roE/Gc lies between about 0.0005 and 1. For representative rubber-like solids, this corresponds to the range ro=0.5 μm to 1 mm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3392-3395
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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