This paper presents theoretical studies on the effect of plastic deformation on the strain energy release rate, G, of a plate under uniaxial tension with a central propagating crack. The linear elastic fracture mechanics solution for G is improved by using the Dugdale model for the crack and yielded region to obtain the axial rigidity of the plate. The axial rigidity is then used to obtain the solution for the strain energy release rate as the crack propagates. It is found that plastic deformation has a pronounced effect on G. A correction factor is presented for correcting the linear elastic solution for the strain energy release rate. The correction factor is found to depend upon the nominal (gross) stress to material yield stress ratio and the crack length to plate width ratio.

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