abstract

The maximum velocity of fracture in an homogeneous isotropic elastic medium under pure shear stress and with an added compressive stress is computed by an extension of Yoffe's method. The maximum velocity of shear fracture is smaller than the velocity of transverse waves in the medium. It increases as Poisson's ratio increases and decreases as the compressive stress increases. The maximum velocity of pure shear fracture is higher than the velocity of pure tensile fracture in the same medium. For a medium with Poisson's ratio of 0.25 the former is 0.775 and the latter is 0.631 of the transverse wave velocity.

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