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This article illustrates the role that fracture mechanics can play in failure analysis. It describes the important failure criteria as relations between design and materials factors, which are used to correlate fracture mechanics analysis to the observations of a failure analysis. Descriptions include an indication of how the factors are typically evaluated. The article also provides information on subcritical fracture mechanics. Finally, a group of failure analysis examples explain how fracture mechanics parameters can be determined and how they may be fitted into an overall failure investigation.

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