WIAS Preprint No. 1100, (2006)

Energy release rate for cracks in finite-strain elasticity


  • Knees, Dorothee
  • Mielke, Alexander
    ORCID: 0000-0002-4583-3888

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 74B20 74R10


  • Griffith fracture criterion, energy release rate, finite-strain elasticity




Griffith's fracture criterion describes in a quasistatic setting whether or not a pre-existing crack in an elastic body is stationary for given external forces. In terms of the energy release rate (ERR), which is the derivative of the deformation energy of the body with respect to a virtual crack extension, this criterion reads: If the ERR is less than a specific constant, then the crack is stationary, otherwise it will grow. In this paper, we consider geometrically nonlinear elastic models with polyconvex energy densities and prove that the ERR is well defined. Moreover, without making any assumption on the smoothness of minimizers, we derive rigorously the well-known Griffith formula and the $J$-integral, from which the ERR can be calculated. The proofs are based on a weak convergence result for Eshelby tensors.

Appeared in

  • Math. Methods Appl. Sci., 31 (2008) pp. 501--528.

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