Failure of porous materials under compression: two universality classes?

Eduard Vives

I will present a review of the work done in the last ten years on the acoustic emis-

sion avalanches measured during the compression of different porous materials. The

experimental data is analysed with tools that are imported from Geophysics.[1]

The studies suggest the existence of criticality in the failure under compression

and reveal many statistical similarities with earthquakes. Both phenomena share a

Gutenberg-Richter law, an Omori law for aftershocks, a productivity law and very

similar distribution of waiting times. The study of different samples[2] has revealed

that results might be classified into two different classes[3]: a first one, that includes

earthquakes, corresponding to heterogeneous materials showing weakening response

and a second one corresponding to more homogeneous materials showing hardening



[1] J.Bar´o, A.Corral, X.Illa, A.Planes, E.K.H.Salje, W.Schranz, E.Soto-Parra &

E.Vives Statistical Similarity between the Compression of a Porous Material and

Earthquakes Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 08870 (2013).


[2] E.Vives, J.Bar´o, A.Planes From Labquakes in Porous Materials to Earthquakes,

In “Avalanches in Functional Materials and Geophysics”, Ed. by E.K.H. Salje,

A.Saxena and A.Planes Springer (2017), 32.

slides (22.74 MB)