A technique consisting of stress-freezing photoelasticity coupled with a Taylor Series Expansion of the maximum local in-plane shearing stress known as the Taylor Series Correction Method (TSCM) is applied to the determination of stress intensity factors (SIF’s) in flat bottomed surface flaws of flaw depth/length ratios of approximately 0.033. Flaw depth/thickness ratios of approximately 0.20 and 0.40 were studied as were plate width/crack length ratios of approximately 2.33 and 1.25, the former of which corresponded to a nearly infinite width. Agreement to well within 10 percent was found with the Rice-Levy and Newman theories using a depth-modified secant correction and equivalent flaw depth/length ratios. The Shah-Kobayashi Theory, when compared on the same basis, was lower than the experimental results. Using a modified net section stress correction suggested by Shah, agreement with the Shah-Kobayashi Theory was greatly improved but agreement with the other theories was poorer. On the basis of the experiments alone, it was found that the SIF was intensified by about 10 percent by decreasing the plate width/crack length from 2.33 to 1.25.

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