We study the effect of strong heterogeneities on the fracture of disordered materials using a fiber bundle model. The bundle is composed of two subsets of fibers, i.e. a fraction 0≤α≤1 of fibers is unbreakable, while the remaining 1-α fraction is characterized by a distribution of breaking thresholds. Assuming global load sharing, we show analytically that there exists a critical fraction of the components αc which separates two qualitatively different regimes of the system: below αc the burst size distribution is a power law with the usual exponent τ=5/2, while above αc the exponent switches to a lower value τ=9/4 and a cutoff function occurs with a diverging characteristic size. Analyzing the macroscopic response of the system we demonstrate that the transition is conditioned to disorder distributions where the constitutive curve has a single maximum and an inflexion point defining a novel universality class of breakdown phenomena.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)