Progression of a stress corrosion crack in pure silica. The mean crack velocity measured at the optical scale was 30 pm/s
Understanding the relations between materials microstructure and their mechanical properties is of outmost importance in geophysics and for industrial design. Concerning material failure, the competition between stress enhancement in the vicinity of cracks and disorder in the material microstructure makes it rather complex to predict. However, the tools of out-of-equilibrium statistical physics provide the proper framework to describe crack growth. As for material failure, one seek to relate the rheology of plastic flows in disordered materials like e.g. oxyde glasses and granular matter to the microscopic constituents behaviour through a statistical description.