This paper deals with three-dimensional thermoelastic fracture problems using both analytical and numerical results. The analytical temperature distribution of an infinite solid with an embedded elliptical insulated crack subjected to an uniform heat flow solved by the authors is first described briefly to provide a verification for the three-dimensional finite element model with collapsed quarter-point singular elements around the crack front. To determine the thermal stress-intensity factors, the three-dimensional path-independent integrals that are physically the energy release rates per unit area of crack extension along respective directions of crack growth are employed and computed for three-dimensional realistic thermoelastic fracture problems.
To evaluate the influence of geometry and Poisson's ratio on the computation of temperature distributions and thermal stress-intensity factors for various thermal conditions, several representative examples are presented. The variations of pure and mixed-mode thermal stressintensity factors along the crack front are also studied for both through and part-through cracks in finite elastic solids.
Good agreements between the computed results and referenced solutions show the validity and accuracy of the present analysis.