This paper discusses the elastic stiffness reduction that accompanies cracking. Basic results are illustrated using simple examples and general approaches of determining the effective stiffness of cracked solids are reviewed. Various approximate methods of obtaining the effective stiffness of cracked solids are demonstrated for the case of aligned uniform cracks. These methods include the dilute approximation, self-consistent method, Mori-Tanaka’s method, differential scheme and shear lag model. Finally, recent numerical results of 3-D periodically cracked solids with high interaction are presented and discussed.

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