Avalanche precursors of failure in hierarchical fuse networks

Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 14;8(1):12090. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30539-x.


We study precursors of failure in hierarchical random fuse network models which can be considered as idealizations of hierarchical (bio)materials where fibrous assemblies are held together by multi-level (hierarchical) cross-links. When such structures are loaded towards failure, the patterns of precursory avalanche activity exhibit generic scale invariance: irrespective of load, precursor activity is characterized by power-law avalanche size distributions without apparent cut-off, with power-law exponents that decrease continuously with increasing load. This failure behavior and the ensuing super-rough crack morphology differ significantly from the findings in non-hierarchical structures.