On an elastically induced splitting instability

P. H. Leo, J. S. Lowengrub, Q. Nie

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10 Scopus citations


We show that a morphological instability driven by deviatoric applied stresses can generate elastically induced particle splitting during diffusional phase transformations. The splitting instability occurs when the elastic fields are above some critical value. For subcritical elastic fields, one observes a small perturbation of the particle shape consistent with splitting, but this perturbation is stabilized by surface tension. Both the onset of the splitting instability and the nonlinear evolution of the particle towards splitting depend on the precise form of the applied stress, the elastic constants of the precipitate and matrix, and the initial shape of the precipitate. We also investigate whether non-dilatational misfit strains can generate splitting instabilities in the absence of an applied stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2761-2772
Number of pages12
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number14
StatePublished - Aug 16 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank J.K. Lee for many interesting and useful conversations. They also thank the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute for its support through a Supercomputer Resource Grant. JL thanks the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications for their hospitality while he avoids cleaning his office. QN acknowledges support from the NSF through grant DMS0074414. JL also acknowledges support from the NSF.


  • Phase transformations
  • Stress
  • Theory & modeling


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