Hard biological materials such as nacre and enamel employ strong interactions between building blocks (mineral crystals) to achieve superior mechanical properties. The interactions are especially profound if building blocks have high aspect ratios and their bulk properties differ from properties of the matrix by several orders of magnitude. In the present work, a method is proposed to study interactions between multiple rigid-line inclusions with the goal to predict stress intensity factors. Rigid-line inclusions provide a good approximation of building blocks in hard biomaterials as they possess the above properties. The approach is based on the analytical method of analysis of multiple interacting cracks (Kachanov, 1987) and the duality existing between solutions for cracks and rigid-line inclusions (Ni and Nasser, 1996). Kachanov’s method is an approximate method that focuses on physical effects produced by crack interactions on stress intensity factors and material effective elastic properties. It is based on the superposition technique and the assumption that only average tractions on individual cracks contribute to the interaction effect. The duality principle states that displacement vector field for cracks and stress vector-potential field for anticracks are each other’s dual, in the sense that solution to the crack problem with prescribed tractions provides solution to the corresponding dual inclusion problem with prescribed displacement gradients. The latter allows us to modify the method for multiple cracks (that is based on approximation of tractions) into the method for multiple rigid-line inclusions (that is based on approximation of displacement gradients). This paper presents an analytical derivation of the proposed method and is applied to the special case of two collinear inclusions.

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