In this paper the J-Q two-parameter characterization of elastic-plastic crack front fields is examined for surface cracked plates under uniaxial and biaxial tensile loadings. Extensive three-dimensional elastic-plastic finite element analyses were performed for semi-elliptical surface cracks in a finite thickness plate, under remote uniaxial and biaxial tension loading conditions. Surface cracks with aspect ratios a/c = 0.2, 1.0 and relative depths a/t = 0.2, 0.6 were investigated. The loading levels cover from small-scale to large-scale yielding. In topological planes perpendicular to the crack fronts, the crack stress fields were obtained. In order to facilitate the determination of Q-factors, modified boundary layer analyses were also conducted. The J-Q two-parameter approach was then used in characterizing the elastic-plastic crack front stress fields along these 3D crack fronts. Complete distributions of the J-integral and Q-factors for a wide range of loading conditions were obtained. It is found that the J-Q characterization provides good estimate for the constraint loss for crack front stress fields. It is also shown that for medium load levels, reasonable agreements are achieved between the T-stress based Q-factors and the Q-factors obtained from finite element analysis. These results are suitable for elastic-plastic fracture mechanics analysis of surface cracked plates.

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Keywords Constraint effect, Elastic-plastic fracture mechanics, J-integral, Q-factor, Surface cracked plate, T-stress, Uniaxial and biaxial loading
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Journal Engineering Fracture Mechanics
Wang, X. (2009). Two-parameter characterization of elastic-plastic crack front fields: Surface cracked plates under tensile loading. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 76(7), 958–982. doi:10.1016/j.engfracmech.2009.01.002