Constitutive equations, which govern subcritical crack growth within a weak brittle interface, are derived assuming mixed-mode loading, i.e., both tensile and shear stresses acting at the crack tip. The subcritical crack growth is assumed to be caused by the classical activation mechanism of fluctuation fracture kinetics. To derive the constitutive equations, two approaches are developed. The first approach is process-zone-detail-independent (PZI), which ignores any details of the process zone, i.e., a near-crack-tip zone of significant damage resulting in fracture, and takes into account only the process zone length. The second approach is process-zone-detail-dependent (PZD), which takes into account some details of the process-zone structure. After some general considerations including 3D case, the detailed consideration is given for 2D case, particularly, for plane strain. Illustrative calculated examples of the obtained theoretical results are presented. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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