Scale dependence of fracture surface roughness and its connection to material heterogeneity

It is well known that fracture surfaces tend to have a characteristic roughness which is usually assumed to be self-affine. However, the underlying mechanisms generating this roughness are not fully understood so far.
The aim of this work is to use DEM Simulations to investigate if the surface roughness of a fracture generated in a uniaxial tension test is related to the heterogeneity of the material strength. For this purpose a large number of calibration models will be run  to obtain a good description of the material heterogeneity and a set of uniaxial tension test models with different size/resolution will be used to investigate the properties of the fault surfaces. Statistical properties of the respective results will be compared to see if the spatial scaling properties of material properties and the fault roughness are comparable and therefore connection can be suggested.

Please send your application to: Dr. Steffen Abe.