How a dissimilar-chain system is splitting: Quasi-static, subsonic and supersonic regimes

Igor E. Berinskii, Leonid I. Slepyan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider parallel splitting of a strip composed of two different chains. As a waveguide, the dissimilar-chain structure radically differs from the well-studied identical-chain system. It is characterized by three speeds of the long waves, c1 and c2 for the separate chains, and c+=(c12+c22)/2 for the intact strip where the chains are connected. Accordingly, there exist three ranges, the subsonic for both chains (0, c2) (we assume that c2 < c1), the intersonic (c2,c+) and the supersonic, (c+,c1). The speed in the latter range is supersonic for the intact strip and at the same time, it is subsonic for the separate higher-speed chain. This fact allows the splitting wave to propagate in the strip supersonically. We derive steady-state analytical solutions and find that the splitting can propagate steadily only in two of these speed ranges, the subsonic and the supersonic, whereas the intersonic regime is forbidden. In the case of considerable difference in the chain stiffness, the lowest dynamic threshold corresponds to the supersonic regime. The peculiarity of the supersonic mode is that the supersonic energy delivery channel, being initially absent, is opening with the moving splitting point. Based on the discrete and related continuous models we find which regime can be implemented depending on the structure parameters and loading conditions. The analysis allows us to represent the characteristics of such processes and to demonstrate strengths and weaknesses of different formulations, quasi-static, dynamic, discrete or continuous. Analytical solutions for steady-state regimes are obtained and analyzed in detail. We find the force-speed relations and show the difference between the static and dynamic thresholds. The parameters and energy of waves radiated by the propagating splitting are determined. We calculate the strain distribution ahead of the transition point and check whether the steady-state solutions are admissible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-524
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Dynamic fracture
  • Integral transforms
  • Stress waves
  • Supersonic transition wave


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