Crack growth in thin sheets loaded under tension and transverse shear is studied experimentally and the mechanics of such problems are reviewed. A small scale yielding approach is adopted that describes the crack tip fields using a combination of Kirchhoff plate theory and plane stress elasticity. Techniques for calculating the relevant stress intensity factors are presented and validated with results from six test cases. Fatigue crack growth rates are measured using a double-edge notch test specimen configuration loaded in tension and torsion. A geometrically nonlinear finite element computation is used to determine the stress intensity factors as functions of axial load, torque, and crack length.
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