The fracture mechanics approach to the development of meaningful nondestructive inspection requirements is presented. The basic concepts underlying the technology are reviewed and the practical engineering aspects of this approach to the prevention of structural failure are demonstrated. Particular emphasis is placed on evaluating the influence of defect morphology (size, shape, orientation, distribution, etc.) on fracture behavior. A hypothetical inspection problem is included and the pertinent considerations associated with the development of a realistic nondestructive inspection specification are discussed in detail.

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