Potential-dependent dynamic fracture of nanoporous gold

Shaofeng Sun, Xiying Chen, Nilesh Badwe, Karl Sieradzki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


When metallic alloys are exposed to a corrosive environment, porous nanoscale morphologies spontaneously form that can adversely affect the mechanical integrity of engineered structures. This form of stress-corrosion cracking is responsible for the well-known â € season crackingâ €™ of brass and stainless steel components in nuclear power generating stations. One explanation for this is that a high-speed crack is nucleated within the porous layer, which subsequently injects into non-porous parent-phase material. We study the static and dynamic fracture properties of free-standing monolithic nanoporous gold as a function electrochemical potential using high-speed photography and digital image correlation. The experiments reveal that at electrochemical potentials typical of porosity formation these structures are capable of supporting dislocation-mediated plastic fracture at crack velocities of 200 m s â '1. Our results identify the important role of high-speed fracture in stress-corrosion cracking and are directly applicable to the behaviour of monolithic dealloyed materials at present being considered for a variety of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)894-898
Number of pages5
JournalNature materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 21 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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