Experimental evidence on the direction and loading phase angle dependence of interfacial cracking in bicrystals of Cu and Fe-Si alloys, and in metal/sapphire bimaterial systems, is presented. The response of a stressed interfacial crack depends not only on the structure of the interface, but also on the direction of the crack propagation and the local loading conditions. This directionality of interfacial cracking and the loading phase angle effect seem explainable in terms of the competition between dislocation emission from the crack tip and decohesion of the interface, and relate to the asymmetrical angular orientation of slip planes relative to the interface.
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