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    Some Problems in the Application of Fracture Mechanics

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    In addition to the widely recognized continuum mechanics restrictions associated with the use of fracture mechanics, there are a number of problems and areas of concern that even arise in the application of the technology to actual situations. These problems range from the development of adequate material properties data to the analytical and defect characterization aspects of the technology. Some of these problems are identified and discussed with regard to their potential impact on structural life predictions and quantitative risk analyses. Material characterization problems associated with data scatter, prior loading effects, and time-dependent behavior are included along with the consideration of the probability of flaw detection and the analysis of small defects and interacting flaws. Suggestions and recommendations for experimental work required to resolve these problems are included.


    fracture, stresses, cracks, testing, growth, environment, strength, failures, fatigue, corrosion, toughness

    Author Information:

    Clark, WG
    Manager, Materials Reliability Research, Structural Behavior of Materials Engineering Department, Westinghouse R&D Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.08

    DOI: 10.1520/STP28802S