The mechanics of brittle fracture

  • C. Mylonas
Conference paper


The study of brittle fracture of steel structures is hampered by the lack of a clear definition. A cleavage appearance does not preclude prior plastic deformation, nor is it completely free of shear. The lack of ductility is a doubtful criterion, because even the most brittle service failures show appreciable plastic deformation at the point of initiation. Finally the local stress magnitude at the point of initiation is always high and cannot serve as a distinguishing criterion. The problem of brittle failure becomes clearer only when the interdependence of local and overall behavior of the structure as a whole is considered. The notions of plastic deformation and limit analysis of structures have proved invaluable in this respect.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Mylonas
    • 1
  1. 1.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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