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Spring 2014

Zhigang Suo's picture

The J integral

For a crack in an elastic body subject to a load, the elastic energy stored in the body is a function of two independent variables: the displacement of the load, and the area of the crack. The energy release rate is defined by the partial derivative of the elastic energy of the body with respect to the area of the crack.

Zhigang Suo's picture


These notes were prepared when I taught fracture mechanics in 2010, and were updated when I taught the course again in 2014.

Notes on other parts of the course are also online.


Zhigang Suo's picture

Trouble with linear elastic theory of strength

A body is subject to a load. What is the magnitude of the load that will cause the body to fracture? Let us begin with a body made of a glass, which deforms elastically by small strains. A procedure you have been taught before probably goes as follows. You first determine the maximum stress in the body. You then determine the strength of the material. The body is supposed to fracture when the maximum stress in the body reaches the strength of the material.

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