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This paper discusses a variety of issues associated with the elastic fracture mechanics modeling of surface cracks; both analytical and experimental issues are addressed. The primary analytical focus is on the use of the boundary integral equation method for elastic fracture mechanics analysis. An advanced code is highlighted. A new formulation for three-dimensional crack-surface integral equations is presented with some new analytical results associated with the free-surface singularity. Essential agreements with the results of Benthem are obtained. Fatigue crack growth results for surface cracks in tension and bending are compared with analytical solutions. It is shown that surface cracks in tension grow essentially in accord with an elastic fracture mechanics prediction, whereas surface cracks in bending do not conform to the elastic prediction, based on surface values of the elastic stress-intensity factor. Some thoughts for further research are given.
analytical methods, computational fracture mechanics methods, elastic fracture mechanics, fatigue, life prediction, stress analysis, surface cracks, fracture mechanics
Director, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX