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A new experimental technique is presented for studying the toughness of anisotropic plane bodies. The technique is based upon the Path Independent Integral concept (Rice, 1968) where a strain energy distribution is line-integrated (via a string of strain gages) along a convenient path which yields the singular behavior of the cracked body. The use of this technique is demonstrated for an isotropic (aluminum) plate and an orthotropic (fiber glass/epoxy) composite with favorable agreement with the analytical and numerical (finite elements) counterpart solutions.
composite materials, stress intensity, toughness, calibration, anisotropy, orthotropism, finite elements, strain energy methods, fiber glass reinforced plastics, strain gages
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa,
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.