In this paper the title problem is studied by using Reissner’s transverse shear theory. The main purpose of the paper is to investigate the effect of stress-free boundaries on the stress intensity factors in plates under bending. Among the results found particularly interesting are those relating to the limiting cases of the crack geometries. The numerical results are given for a single internal crack, two collinear cracks, and two edge cracks. Also studied is the effect of Poisson’s ratio on the stress intensity factors.

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