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How do I determine if J-integral is needed?

Basically I would like to know if I need to use J-integral to analyze a crack. From what I think I know, the stress intensity factor, K, can be used to analyze crack growth if the plastic zone ahead of the crack tip is within an elastic singularity zone. If the plastic zone is large (i.e. plastic zone is not embedded within elastic singularity zone) then J-integral should be used, correct? This singularity zone is where stress is proportional to 1/r^0.5. As you get further from the crack this singularity is not predominant anymore.

The plastic zone shape can be estimated for example by applying the von Mises equation. My problem now is estimating the size of this "elastic singularity zone" to see whether the plastic zone can be considered large. Since the crack will keep growing I would like to know the limit where the stress intensity factor can be used.


This confused person would greatly appreciate any help.

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