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Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 1, 189-194

Experimental model of cracking induced by drying shrinkage

H. Colina1 - S. Roux2

1 Laboratoire Environnement, Gomcanique et Ouvrages, B.P. 40, 54501 Vand\oeuvre-lès-Nancy Cedex, France
and
Universidad Nacional de Salta Buenos Aires 177, 4400 Salta, Argentina
2 Laboratoire "Surface du Verre et Interfaces'', B.P. 135, 93303 Aubervilliers Cedex, France
stephane.roux@sgr.saint-gobain.com

Received 19 April 1999

Abstract
Drying induced shrinkage in materials may yield the formation of surface crack patterns. We report on various experimental observations of the geometry of the crack array and the kinetics of crack formation on a model system consisting of a layer of a paste made of clay, sand, and water deposited on a rigid substrate. We investigate in detail the influence of the layer geometry (size and thickness).

PACS
92.40.Lg Soil moisture - 46.50.+a Fracture mechanics, fatigue and cracks - 46.65.+g Random phenomena and media

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