This paper presents a model for the fracture process zone near the tip of a steadily propagating plane strain tensile crack. The material is assumed to be elastic-ideally plastic and completely incompressible. The macroscopic plastic deformation near the advancing crack tip is modeled by a slip element approach in which dislocations are continuously distributed over a planar region. The fracture process zone is modeled by a continuous distribution of dislocations collinear with the advancing crack tip The results of the study reveal the influence of the fracture process zone on the slip line pattern within the crack tip plastic zone and on the elastic plastic boundary. The fracture process zone model is also shown to give an accurate and physically reasonable estimate of the crack tip opening angle associated with continued ductile stable crack growth. © 1989.
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