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Fracture toughness is the ability of a material to withstand fracture in the presence of cracks. This article focuses on the use of fracture toughness as a parameter for engineering and design purposes. Both linear elastic and elastic-plastic fracture mechanics concepts are reviewed as they relate to fracture toughness and design process. The article explores the use of plane strain fracture toughness, crack-tip opening displacement, and the J-integral as criteria for the design and safe operation of structures and mechanical components. It discusses the variables affecting fracture toughness, including yield strength, loading rate, temperature, and material thickness. A summary of different fatigue and fracture mechanics design philosophies and their relationship with fracture toughness is provided in a table. The article concludes with information on the examples of fracture toughness in design.

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