The present work provides rigorous substantiation of certain crucial asymptotic expressions which constitute the basis of a number of previous near-tip analyses of quasistatic elastic-plastic crack growth. This is accomplished as part of an investigation of the general features of two-dimensional near-tip continuum fields for quasistatic elastic-plastic crack growth, under general unsteady conditions, for a broad class of constitutive behavior and crack loading conditions. The approach employed and results obtained are also applicable to a number of geometrically similar problems, such as the plane strain analysis of the continuum fields near the leading and trailing edges of a quasistatically moving distributed surface load.

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