The unloading compliance method is one of the most widely used methods in laboratory testing for J-resistance estimation. A specimen configuration including compact tension (CT) is recommended by almost all the standard test procedures for evaluating fracture toughness, such as ASTM E1820-11, ISO 12135-2002, and GB/T 21143-2007. In the unloading compliance method, key techniques including instantaneous crack size measurement, correction of specimen rotation, and J-integral computation can be used for a CT specimen when using load line displacement (LLD) but not when using crack mouth opening displacement (CMOD) from those standard test procedures. However, a CT specimen with CMOD measurement is also used for J-resistance estimation under certain severe environments because of the convenience of measuring displacement. This study proposes a simplified linear formula for crack size calculation for a CT specimen with CMOD data, discusses the rotation correction in detail based on the equivalence of work, and develops reasonable incremental expressions for J-integral computation and a CMOD-to-LLD conversion equation. By measuring the LLD and CMOD data of a CT specimen simultaneously, we carried out experiments on J-resistance curve estimation for four different types of materials. According to the developed procedure of the unloading compliance method in this study, J-resistance curves for all materials determined from LLD and CMOD data of the CT specimen are clearly exhibited.
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