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This article discusses the concepts underlying linear elastic fracture mechanics and elastic-plastic fracture mechanics as well as their importance in characterizing the fracture behavior of the high-strength aluminum alloys. It describes the three methods used for analyzing elastic-plastic fracture, namely R-curve concept, J-integral concept, and crack tip opening displacement method. The article considers the primary measures used to assess the toughness of aluminum alloy castings and wrought alloys: notch toughness, tear resistance, and plane-strain fracture toughness.

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