Limit load solutions of plates containing surface cracks are determined using non-linear finite element analysis. The study covers both shallow and deep cracks with different crack length/crack depth ratios under different loading types. The crack configurations consist of semi-elliptical surface cracks with a/t = 0.20, 0.40, 0.60, 0.80 and l/a = 2, 5, 10. Also studied are plates containing infinite surface cracks with a/t = 0.00, 0.20, 0.40, 0.60, 0.80. The cracked plates are subjected to pure tension, pure bending and combined tension and bending. The finite element results obtained from this study are compared with some published limit load solutions in the literature. It is shown that the exiting solutions are in general overly conservative.

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