Hydrated granular packings often crack into discrete clusters of grains when dried. Despite its ubiquity, an accurate prediction of cracking remains elusive. Here, we elucidate the previously overlooked role of individual grain shrinkage - a feature common to many materials - in determining crack patterning using both experiments and simulations. By extending classical Griffith crack theory, we obtain a scaling law that quantifies how cluster size depends on the interplay between grain shrinkage, stiffness, and size - applicable to a diverse array of shrinkable granular packings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)