The effects of changing notch tip constraint in mixed modes I/II, through the influence of plasticity and geometry, are studied in single edge notch (SEN) specimens of PMMA using a newly developed test apparatus. Elastic-plastic finite element analyses show the different constraint effects between notched and cracked specimens. The influence of molecular weight is also investigated. In a parallel study, the behaviour of PMMA under mixed modes I/III is studied using circumferentially notched round bar (CNRB) specimens. Two sizes of specimen, both notched, are tested to identify the role of constraint in this type of fracture. The results from both types of shear test show that the type of crack, mode of loading, and the load history all have an influence on the role of constraint and therefore its fracture properties of PMMA.
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