An analysis of the effectiveness of fiber reinforcement in brittle matrix composites is presented. The analytical method allows consideration of discrete fiber distribution and examination of the development of crack growth parameters on the microscale. The problem associated with bridging zone development is addressed here; therefore, the bridging zone is considered to be smaller than the main preexisting crack, and the small scale approach is used. The mechanics of the reinforcement is accurately accounted for in the process zone of a growing crack. Closed form solutions characterizing the initial failure process are presented for linear and nonlinear force-fiber pullout displacement relationships. The implicit exact solution for the extended bridging zone is presented as well.

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