Surface cracks are common defects in welded, bonded, and composite structures. The elastic-plastic fracture of these defects may be analyzed using the J-integral. The authors have recently developed a new approach to evaluate the J-integral for semi-elliptical surface cracks in panels made of homogeneous materials and subject to remote tension. This approach, which is based on load separation, allows the evaluation of J for such a three-dimensional geometry using a single specimen test record. It is analogous to the single specimen technique in two-dimensional geometries. In this article, the authors extend their study to surface cracks at bimaterial interfaces. A three-dimensional finite element model is developed to model such a crack. The J-integral is evaluated along the crack front using the virtual crack extension method. The elastic-plastic fracture behavior of the crack is studied. Load separation is also examined and the new single specimen approach for surface cracks in single material panels is extended to those at bimaterial interfaces. The study also includes a comparison between the results of surface cracks in single material panels and those at bimaterial interfaces.
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