In this paper, the J-Q two-parameter elastic-plastic fracture mechanics approach is used to analyse the surface cracked plates under uniaxial and biaxial loading. First, the J-Q characterization of crack front stress fields of surface cracked plates under uniaxial and biaxial tension loadings are discussed. The complete J-Q trajectories for points along the crack fronts as load increases from small-scale yielding to large-scale yielding were obtained. Based on the materials toughness locus, (resistance to fracture JC as a function of Q), the assessments of the onset of cleavage fracture are conducted. The critical location along the 3D crack front, and the corresponding maximum load carrying capacity are obtained. The results are consistent with experimental observations. It is demonstrated the J-Q two-parameter approach is capable of providing comprehensive assessments of cleavage fracture of surface cracked plates under uniaxial/biaxial loadings, capturing all the important aspects of the problem.

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