Numerical methods for the analysis of the elastic-plastic fracture problem using a special finite element technique are presented. A brief description of some concepts in elastic-plastic fracture mechanics and of the finite element method is followed by the formulation procedure of the stiffness matrix using eight-noded quadrilateral isoparametric elements. After a terse discussion of the initial stress method, the procedure of computation is extended in the analysis by using an incremental load process. The size and the shape of the plastic zone of a center crack specimen is investigated. Results are presented in graphical form.

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