This study explores the possibility of using J-Q-related crack-tip constraint concepts to provide a basis for both the interpretation of warm prestress (WPS)-induced fracture toughness and its transferability to structural applications. A finite-element boundary-layer formulation based on small-scale yielding (SSY), remote mode I K-dominant assumptions is adopted. Effects of WPS-induced crack-tip constraint are quantified in terms of deviation in either the opening-mode or the mean stress component of the WPS crack-tip fields relative to the reference K-dominant SSY state associated with monotonic-loading conditions. Over the range of WPS load-paths considered the WPS-induced crack-tip constraint closely resembles a spatially varying hydrostatic stress field. Interpretation and transferability of WPS fracture toughness under SSY conditions are specified in terms of the unload and reload ratio.
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