Critical Stress Intensity Factor Fracture Criterion

  • Emmanuel E. GdoutosEmail author
Part of the Solid Mechanics and Its Applications book series (SMIA, volume 263)


When a solid is fractured, work is performed to create new material surfaces in a thermodynamically irreversible manner. In Griffith’s theory of ideally brittle materials, the work of fracture is spent in the rupture of cohesive bonds. The fracture surface energy \( \gamma \), which represents the energy required to form a unit of new material surface, corresponds to a normal separation of atomic planes. For the fracture of polycrystals, however, the work required for the creation of new surfaces should also include: dissipation associated with nonhomogeneous slip within and between the grains; plastic and viscous deformation; and possible phase changes at the crack surfaces. The energy required for the rupture of atomic bonds is only a small portion of the dissipated energy in the fracture process. There are situations where the irreversible work associated with fracture is confined to a small process zone adjacent to the crack surfaces, while the remaining material is deformed elastically. In such a case the various work terms associated with fracture may be lumped together in a macroscopic term R (resistance to fracture) which represents the work required for the creation of a unit of new material surface. R may be considered as a material parameter. The plastic zone accompanying the crack tip is very small and the state of affairs around the crack tip can be described by the stress intensity factor.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Academy of AthensAthensGreece

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