Inserted: 9 jun 2010
Last Updated: 5 oct 2012
Journal: Math. Models Methods Appl. Sci.
In the setting of antiplane linearized elasticity, we show the existence of quasistatic evolutions of cracks in brittle materials by using a vanishing viscosity approach, thus taking into account local minimization. The main feature of our model is that the path followed by the crack needs not be prescribed a priori: indeed, it is found as the limit (in the sense of Hausdorff convergence) of curves obtained by an incremental procedure. The result is based on a continuity property for the energy release rate in a suitable class of admissible cracks.