The important role of mechanical parameters characterizing the global fracture behavior of a thin rectangular plate is demonstrated through comparison of various approaches to the investigation of ductile tearing at large amounts of stable crack extension. Tensile tests have been performed on middle-cracked specimens at different in-plane constraint states and on cruciform specimens. The latter geometry is treated as a physical counterpart of the basic structural element usually considered in model descriptions of tension- and/or compression-dominant crack geometries. Attention is focused on the simplest practical problem, namely, assessing the critical states of a center through crack under remote uniaxial tension. The case in point is a comprehensive assessment of the structural behavior of a thin-wall component where failure loads, displacements, and subcritical crack extensions must all be predicted from the crack growth data for a laboratory-size specimen of standard geometry.
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