Symposium I-D:

Failure and Damage in Soft Materials: From Cavitation to Cracking


Symposium Organizers:

O. Lopez-Pamies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
K. Ravi-Chandar, The University of Texas at Austin
B. Talamini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
T. Zhang, Syracuse University
Y. Mao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Symposium Description:

Across many fields, the continuing revolution in the development of soft materials is transforming the engineering of devices. In many applications, harnessing the potential of soft materials hinges on whether mechanical failure can be prevented or controlled. One of the relevant failure pathways is through free surface-creating processes, such as rupture, cavitation, and adhesive debonding. In contrast to hard materials, in soft devices the length scale of fracture-type processes is often comparable to the structural dimensions, and thus fracture cannot be decoupled from the rest of the response. Analyzing these phenomena requires the development of new approaches and techniques. Additionally, the presence of competing dissipation mechanisms, e.g., the Mullins effect, viscous flow, solvent diffusion, formation and breaking of temporary bonds complicate the picture, but also provide opportunities to tailor toughness in new ways. This session will focus on failure mechanisms in soft materials, encompassing experimental techniques to characterize, prevent or control failure in soft materials, and modeling efforts to understand failure mechanisms through theoretical and numerical techniques. Works relating to experiments and theory on self-healing phenomena in elastomers will also be sought.