Shear faults in a model brittle solid

C. E. Maloney and M. O. Robbins, Chaos, 17, 041105 (2007).

Intro paragraph: Fracture in brittle materials exhibits common features on scales from nanoindented glass to faults in the Earth's crust, and an improved understanding of brittle failure is crucial to a wide range of disciplines. To date, the most studied statistical models of brittle materials have been so-called "random fuse" models.1 They consist of networks of springs that fail when stretched past some threshold. Such models are well suited to studies of tensile fracture, but miss essential physics in the shear or mode-II fracture that occurs in compressed materials or along earthquake faults. The reason is that they do not include the excluded volume interactions along the damaged regions or "faults." These repulsive interactions carry significant stress in the damaged solid.

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