Fracture Mechanics

  • S. I. Krishnamachari


Fracture mechanics is a relatively new branch of stress analysis. It evolved from the need for a rational explanation of the several brittle failures-without-warning of ship hull structures, railroad structures, etc. which are made of normally ductile metals [1]. The development of fracture mechanics was initiated from several viewpoints. One such viewpoint is the strain energy consideration in a body in which a crack extends by just a small amount. Another approach is the application of linear elasticity for the determination of stress fields at the tip of a crack. Other approaches are equivalent to each other for the elastic behavior of the material in the close vicinity of the crack tip and diverge for plastic flow. Each approach defines its own version of the resistance of the material to fracture, which may be termed fracture toughness. It is used much in the same way as yield strength or ultimate strength is used. Basically, all approaches seek on the one hand, to determine the response of a cracked structure to applied loads, and on the other hand, to provide methods to measure the toughness of the material. The extension of fracture mechanics to plastics involves certain additional considerations. The high plastic flow capability and time dependence are the special characteristics of fracture mechanics as applied to plastics.


Fracture Toughness Stress Intensity Stress Intensity Factor Crack Length Plastic Zone 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. I. Krishnamachari
    • 1
  1. 1.L.J. Broutman & Associates, Ltd.ChicagoUSA

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