Joining of different materials is a situation frequently observed in mechanical engineering and in materials science. Due to the difference in the elastic properties of the constituent materials, the junction points can be the origin of stress singularities and a possible source of damage. Hence, a full appreciation of these critical situations is of fundamental importance both from the mathematical and the engineering standpoints. In this paper, an overview of interface mechanical problems leading to stress singularities is proposed to show their relevance in engineering. The mathematical methods for the asymptotic analysis of stress singularities in multimaterial junctions and wedges composed of isotropic linear-elastic materials are reviewed and compared, with special attention to in-plane and out-of-plane loadings. This analysis mathematically demonstrates in a historical retrospective the equivalence of the eigenfunction expansion method, of the complex function representation, and of the Mellin transform technique for the determination of the order of the stress singularity in such problems. The analogies between linear elasticity and the Stokes flow of dissimilar immiscible fluids, the steady-state heat transfer across different materials, and the St. Venant torsion of composite bars are also discussed. Finally, advanced issues for the stress singularities due to joining of angularly nonhomogeneous elastic wedges are presented. This review article contains 147 references.

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