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This article describes the underlying fundamentals, applications, the relevance and necessity of performing proper stress analysis in conducting a failure analysis. It presents an introduction to the stress analysis of bodies containing crack-like imperfections and the topic of fracture mechanics. The fracture mechanics approach is an important part of stress analysis at the tips of sharp cracks or discontinuities. The article reviews fracture mechanics concepts, including linear elastic fracture mechanics, elastic-plastic fracture mechanics, and subcritical fracture mechanics. It also provides information on the applications of fracture mechanics in failure analysis.

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