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Tag: Fracture mechanics
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  • Observation of Crack Arrest in Ice by High Aspect Ratio Particles during Uniaxial Compression

    Abstract: In nature, ice frequently contains dissolved solutes or entrapped particles, which modify the microstructure and mechanical properties of ice. Seeking to understand the effect of particle shape and geometry on the mechanical properties of ice, we performed experiments on ice containing 15 wt% silica spheres or rods. Unique to this work was the use of 3-D microstructural imaging in a -10ºC cold room during compressive loading of the sample. The silica particles were present in the ice microstructure as randomly dispersed aggregates within grains and at grain boundaries. While cracks originated in particle-free regions in both sphere- and rod-containing samples, the propagation of cracks was quite different in each type of sample. Cracks propagated uninhibited through aggregates of spherical particles but were observed to arrest at and propagate around aggregates of rods. These results imply that spherical particles do not inhibit grain boundary sliding or increase viscous drag. On the other hand, silica rods were found to span grains, thereby pinning together the microstructure of ice during loading. These results provide insights into mechanisms that can be leveraged to strengthen ice.