A global limit load solution is derived in this paper for embedded off-set elliptical cracks in a plate under combined tension and bending, based on the net-section collapse principle. The new limit load solution is validated using 3D elastic-perfectly plastic finite element (FE) limit analyses. The results show that the limit load solution developed in this paper is conservative and close to the elastic-perfectly-plastic FE results. The global limit load solution is then compared with the limit load solution based on the rectangular crack assumption, showing that the difference between the two solutions is negligible as the ratio of crack length to the plate width is less than 0.25. However, the difference may become significant when the ratio approaches one.

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