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This chapter discusses various types of material fracture toughness and the methods by which they are determined. It begins with a review of the basic principles of linear elastic fracture mechanics, covering the Griffith-Irwin theory of fracture, the concept of strain energy release rate, the use of fracture indices and failure criteria, and the ramifications of crack-tip plasticity in ductile and brittle fractures. It goes on to describe the different types of plain-strain and plane-stress fracture toughness, explaining how they are measured and how they are influenced by metallurgical and environmental variables and loading conditions. It also examines the crack growth resistance curves of several aluminum alloys and describes the characteristics of fracture when all or some of the applied load is in the plane of the crack.

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