We present a micromechanical analysis of flow-induced peeling of a layered 2D material suspended in a liquid, for the first time accounting for realistic hydrodynamic loads. In our model, fluid forces trigger a fracture of the inter-layer interface by lifting a flexible “flap” of nanomaterial from the surface of a suspended microparticle. We show that the so far ignored dependence of the hydrodynamic load on the wedge angle produces a transition in the curve relating the critical fluid shear rate for peeling to the non-dimensional adhesion energy. For intermediate values of the non-dimensional adhesion energy, the critical shear rate saturates, yielding critical shear rate values that are drastically smaller than those predicted by a constant load assumption. Our results highlight the importance of accounting for realistic hydrodynamic loads in fracture mechanics models of liquid-phase exfoliation.
- 2D materials