Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 28, Issue 17, pp 4816–4820 | Cite as

Environmentally enhanced instability of stressed solids

  • B. I. Yakobson
  • E. D. Shchukin


Environment-sensitive mechanical behaviour of solids is considered as a loss of surface stability, which is enhanced by simultaneous action of mechanical stresses, surface flaws and active media. A model is proposed based on mass transport during the surface roughness development, involving competition between two driving forces: chemical potential excess in the regions of stress concentration near the bottom of a concavity and surface tension. The excess of chemical potential may lead to the fracture crack formation, while the surface tension tends to heal it. A preliminary discussion shows the applicability of the model to the variety of effects (strength and durability reduction or treatment facilitation due to adsorption, contact with akin liquids, including embrittlement by liquid metals, heterogeneous catalysis, etc.)


Surface Roughness Surface Tension Liquid Metal Mass Transport Driving Force 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. I. Yakobson
    • 1
  • E. D. Shchukin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Materials Science and Engineering DepartmentJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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