A linear elastic plate containing a central through-thickness crack is investigated using three-dimensional finite element analysis. The crack front profile is initially assumed to be straight, and the distributions of the energy release rate are calculated over a range of Poisson's ratios. Using the results from the straight crack problem, curved crack profiles are generated that are attuned to a uniform distribution of the energy release rate. Also, some attention is directed to the computation of the singular behavior in the vicinity of the vertex (i.e., where the crack front meets the free surface).
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