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A critical review of the basic premises of fracture mechanics is presented. The applicability of the theoretical concepts developed by Griffith and considerably expanded by Irwin and co-workers to materials testing and the determination of a unique and characteristic value of “fracture toughness” is examined. Finally, the usefulness and limitations of sharp crack fracture mechanics to the solution of engineering design problems are discussed.
Associate professor of metallurgy, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N. Y.
Manager, Metallurgy, Materials and Processes LaboratoryGeneral Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y.