Various aspects of stress fields near an interface crack in three-dimensional bimaterial plates are investigated. Due to the nature of the resulting deformation field, three-dimensional effects are more critical in a bimaterial plate than in a homogeneous plate. In the close vicinity of the crack front, the stress field is characterized by the asymptotic bimaterial K-field, and its domain size is a very small fraction of a plate thickness. Unlike a homogeneous case, the asymptotic field always consists all three modes of fracture, and an interface crack must propagate under mixed-mode conditions. Furthermore, computational results have shown that the two phase angles representing the relative magnitudes of the three modes strongly depend on the bimaterial properties. It has been also observed that a significant antiplane (Mode III) deformation exists along the crack front, especially near the free surface. Since experimental investigations have shown that critical energy release rate Gc is highly dependent on the phase angles, accurate prediction of the interface fracture behavior requires not only the G distribution but also the variations of phase angles along the crack front.

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