Experimental study of cracking induced by desiccation in 1-dimensional systems
GRASP, Institut de Physique B5, Université de Liège, B-4000, Liège, Belgium
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Revised: 5 July 2002
Published online: 25 January 2014
We designed a simple experiment to study both the dynamical and statistical properties of cracking that occurs in a one-dimensional system composed of wet clay (or similar material) exposed to shrinkage induced by desiccation. We study both the dynamical formation of cracks and the statistical characteristics of the final cracks pattern. We observe that the drying rate has a strong influence on the way cracks appear and grow. We find that the final crack width is related to the order of apparition of the cracks. We discuss the statistical distributions of cracks width and separation between two adjacent cracks. We also study the correlations between these two quantities. Our results are compared to the predictions of existing models. Finally, a comparison with another kind of clay is made.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, Società Italiana di Fisica, 2002