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The objective of this paper is to present, as simply as possible, an explanation of the J-integral methods of elastic-plastic fracture mechanics. Its rationale as an extension of the linear-elastic fracture mechanics is emphasized. Other methods, such as crack-opening displacement and equivalent-energy methods, are contrasted with the J-integral methods for both analysis and applications to material characterization. Finally, the broad applicability and usefulness of the J-integral methods are also emphasized.
crack propagation, fractures (materials), fatigue (materials), creep properties, plastic properties
Professor of mechanics, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.