Analysis of the failure of cracked biscuits

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Garcia-Armenta, Evangelina
Gutierrez, Gustavo
Anand, Saurabh
Cronin, Kevin
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Elsevier Ltd.
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Cracks or checks in biscuits weaken the material and cause the product to break at low load levels that are perceived as injurious to product quality. In this work, the structural response of circular digestive biscuits, with diameter 72 mm and thickness 7.2 mm, simply supported around the circumference and loaded by a central concentrated force was investigated by experiment and theory. Tests were conducted to quantify the distribution in breakage strength for structurally sound biscuits, biscuits with natural checks and biscuits with a single known part-through crack. For sound biscuits the breakage force is Normally distributed with a mean of 12.5 N and standard deviation of 1.2 N. For biscuits with checks, the corresponding statistics are 9.6 N ± 2.62 N respectively. The presence of a crack weakens the biscuit and strength, as measured by breakage force falls almost linearly with crack length and crack depth. The orientation of the crack, whether radial or tangential, and its location (i.e. position of the crack mid-point on the biscuit surface) are also important. Deep, radial, cracks located close to the biscuit centre can reduce the strength by up to 50%. Two separate failure criteria were examined for sound and cracked biscuits respectively. The results from these tests were in good accord with theory. For a biscuit without defects, breakage occurred when maximum biscuit stress reached or exceeded the failure stress of 420 kPa. For a biscuit with cracks, breakage occurred as above or alternatively when its critical stress intensity factor of 18 kPam0.5 was reached.
Biscuits , Fracture , Cracks , Stress intensity factor
Garcia-Armenta, E., Gutierrez, G., Anand, S. and Cronin, K. (2016) ‘Analysis of the failure of cracked biscuits’, Journal of Food Engineering, 196, pp.52-64. doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2016.10.015