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Abstract

Structural and fracture mechanics-based tools for metals are believed to be applicable to nonmetals, as long as they are homogeneous and isotropic. This chapter discusses the essential aspects of the fatigue and fracture behaviors of nonmetallic materials with an emphasis on how they compare with metals. It begins by describing the fracture characteristics of ceramics and glasses along with typical properties and subcritical crack growth mechanisms. It then discusses the properties of engineering plastics and the factors affecting crack formation and growth, fracture toughness, fatigue life, and stress rupture failures.

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