3R23. Crack Paths. Advances in Damage Mechanics, Vol 2. - LP Pook (Univ College, London, UK). WIT Press, Southampton, UK. Distributed in USA by Comput Mech Publ, Billerica, MA. 2002. 154 pp. ISBN 1-85312-927-5. $98.00.

Reviewed by AS Grandt (Sch of Aeronaut and Astronaut, Purdue Univ, 1282 Grisson Hall, W Lafayette, IN 47907-1282).

The author’s objective for this 154-page volume is to assemble the technical literature associated with establishing the direction of crack growth in an “easily accessible form.” Although prediction of crack propagation paths is essential for a complete crack growth analysis, this task is difficult and is often determined by experimental observation from full-scale tests. This book seeks to collect and discuss the research on crack path direction in a manner that can be readily understood by those familiar with elementary fracture mechanics concepts. Emphasis is on the ambient temperature behavior of metals.

The book’s seven chapters and postscript present a total of 91 figures, 103 equations, and 357 references. Chapter 1, entitled Crack Description, sets the context for issues involved in determining the direction of crack growth a priori. Chapter 2 deals with geometric constraints that arise from three-dimensional considerations (free surfaces, notches, etc), and lead to particular crack front shapes. Chapter 3 discusses failure criteria and crack tip plasticity as related to crack growth direction. Chapter 4 focuses on directional stability of mode I cracks, which is dominated by the maximum principal stresses. The author points out, however, that in addition to maximum principal stress dominated paths, shear oriented paths that involve both modes II and III are also possible, particularly when crack tip plasticity is significant. Thus, Chapters 5 and 6 deal with determining the crack direction for initial mixed modes I and II cracks. Chapter 5 treats fatigue crack growth, while Chapter 6 covers static crack growth. Since Chapters 4–6 employ two-dimensional approaches to crack directional stability, the final chapter, 7, discusses additional aspects of three-dimensional crack growth. This more general problem involves the addition of mode III displacements along with a number of other practical considerations.

In summary, this is a well-written book authored by a leading authority in fracture mechanics. The author has been interested in the crack path issue for over 45 years and has had the opportunity to discuss the matter with many other distinguished researchers during the past five decades. This unique background has allowed him to bring together a critical discussion of the literature on a complex topic that is not covered in depth by other standard textbooks. Crack Paths will be of interest to researchers involved with the specific problem of predicting the direction of crack growth under static or cyclic loading, and well as to a more general audience of fatigue and fracture practitioners who desire a broad introduction to the literature on this important subject.