A criterion of ductile failure for a high strength steel under a multiaxial state of stress is established. A family of multiaxial stress states at failure is generated from the fracture data of a number of notched tensile specimens with differing notch geometries. An elasto-plastic finite element analysis, for a work hardening material, is used to analyze each test. Several failure criteria are considered including maximum stress, maximum strain, and distortional energy. A Von Mises type criterion, suitably equated to the maximum tensile properties of the material, gives highly accurate predictions in all cases.

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