A special three-dimensional crack-tip element has been developed to investigate a simple and widely applicable fracture toughness test method. Previous experimental work with the double-torsion method has shown that the use of a relatively thin sectioned specimen may be permitted. The section concerned is considerably thinner than that used in conventional techniques, while the technique also simplifies the determination of the fracture toughness parameter. K IC values, which are independent of the crack length, have been obtained for glasses, ceramics, polymers, and a variety of metals and alloys. The numerical solution presented is supportive of many experimental observations made during testing. Excellent correlation between the finite element and experimental results has been obtained. The maximum stress intensity factor is shown to be almost independent of crack length over a considerable range.

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