The effects of static Mode I (opening mode) loading on orthotropic-orthotropic bimaterial interface cracks have been investigated using the experimental technique of transmission photoelasticity. For successful implementation of this experimental technique transparent and birefringent glass fiber reinforced polyester composite materials were developed, enabling the direct observation and recording of photoelastic fringes in the vicinity of the interface crack in the orthotropic bimaterial. It is our belief that this is the first of such experimental investigation. Opening and shearing mode stress-intensity factors and the strain energy release rates have been calculated for various combinations of the bimaterial halves. Results have been verified by mathematically regenerating the observed isochromatic fringe patterns. This study has made it feasible to investigate interfacial fracture in orthotropic-orthotropic bimaterials and orthotropic-isotropic bimaterials using photoelasticity.

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