Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) and Applications

  • Bahram Farahmand


In brittle fracture it is assumed that failure in an elastic material takes place when the available elastic energy is adequate to overcome the energy necessary to propagate a crack and to create new crack surfaces. At the instant of instability, the stresses at the apex of an elastic crack must have sufficient magnitude, capable of driving the crack to failure. In other words, one must assume the presence of either one single crack of sufficient length, or a group of smaller cracks in the material, that will eventually join together to form one large crack, capable of creating brittle fracture. The fundamental mechanism by which pre-existing flaws are formed, which ultimately grow and become critical upon application of increasing monotonic load, is not well defined. An understanding of elastic fracture behavior in material may be reached through a microscopic approach to fracture mechanics [1], where the formation of microcracks within grains of the material is assumed upon application of tensile load. The formation of microcracks within the grain, having length much smaller than the grain diameter, is a result of microscopic stress risers, which are created due to the presence of pile up dislocations forming cavities. These cavities are suitable locations for crack initiation [2].


Fracture Toughness Stress Intensity Factor Crack Length Plastic Zone Fatigue Crack Growth 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

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  • Bahram Farahmand

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