Due to the oscillatory singular stress field around a crack tip, interface fracture has some peculiar features. This paper is focused on two of them. One can be reflected by a proposed paradox that geometrically similar structures with interface cracks under similar loadings may have different failure behaviors. The other one is that the existing fracture parameters of the oscillatory singular stress field, such as a complex stress intensity factor, exhibit some nonobjectivity because their phase angle depends on an arbitrarily chosen length. In this paper, two objective and independent fracture parameters are proposed which can fully characterize the stress field near the crack tip. One parameter represents the stress intensity with classical unit of stress intensity factors. It is interesting to find that the loading mode can be characterized by a length as the other parameter, which can properly reflect the phase of the stress oscillation with respect to the distance to the crack tip. This is quite different from other crack tip fields in which the loading mode is usually expressed by a phase angle. The corresponding failure criterion for interface cracks does not include any arbitrarily chosen quantity and, therefore, is convenient for comparing and accumulating experimental results, even existing ones. The non-self-similarity of the stress field near an interface crack tip is also interpreted, which is the major reason leading to many differences between the interfacial fracture and the fracture in homogenous materials.

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