The theory of tearing-mode crack-growth instability as developed by Paris and his associates is briefly outlined. Then the theory is applied to study the stability of a deep crack in a pressure vessel nozzle. The finite-element method is used to analyze the structure, which is idealized as a two-dimensional elastic-plastic body. Based on the theory and the results of the finite-element calculation, the stability (or instability) of the crack is predicted, as a function of pressure in the vessel. A detailed examination of the solution near the crack tip is made to verify that the necessary conditions for J-controlled crack growth are present.

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