The first part of the paper discusses two problems in which the role of residual stresses may be treated using the procedures of fracture mechanics. One is the significant degradation of the tensile strength of glass due to the residual stresses produced by surface damage. The other is the effect of surface compressive stresses in inhibiting the detection of surface flaws. The second part of the paper discusses the inverse problem of using fracture mechanics solutions to measure residual stresses. This approach which has only been developed in the past decade leads to an experimental procedure which is easy to implement and is also more versatile than conventional methods.

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