A recently developed anisotropic model of continuum damage mechanics has been applied successfully to characterize ductile fracture of cracked plates under mode I and mixed mode failures. The damage model is further extended in this investigation to examine its applicability to include notch ductile fracture of thin plates containing a circular hole. Two hole sizes of 16 mm and 24 mm diameters are chosen and the specimen material is aluminum alloy 2024-T3. Fracture loads of the plates are predicted by the damage model and compared satisfactorily with those determined experimentally. This investigation provides an important confirmation that not only the anisotropic model of continuum damage mechanics but also the same failure criterion developed can be effectively employed to characterize both ductile fracture for plates containing an isolated macro-crack or circular hole which would otherwise not be possible using the conventional theory of fracture mechanics. The successful development of the unified approach to characterize ductile failure provides a vital impetus for design engineers in the general application of the theory of continuum damage mechanics to solve practical engineering problems.

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