We study the spatiotemporal dynamics of a crack front propagating at the interface between a rigid substrate and an elastomer. We first characterize the kinematics of the front when the substrate is homogeneous and find that the equation of motion is intrinsically nonlinear. We then pattern the substrate with a single defect. Steady profiles of the front are well described by a standard linear theory with nonlocal elasticity, except for large slopes of the front. In contrast, this theory seems to fail in dynamical situations, i.e., when the front relaxes to its steady shape, or when the front pinches off after detachment from a defect. More generally, these results may impact the current understanding of crack fronts in heterogeneous media.
Crack Front Dynamics across a Single Heterogeneity, J. Chopin, A. Prevost, A. Boudaoud, and M. Adda-Bedia, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 144301 (2011)