Elastic fracture mechanics commonly defines the fracture
resistance of brittle materials within an idealised picture of planar and tractionfree
cracks. An efficient approach to describe the interface conditions in real
cracks, such as those occurring in concrete, ceramics or stones, is to include
the effect of both roughness and friction by means of a constitutive
relationship between opposite points on the interface. In the present paper,
we use a numerical technique, based on the solution of singular integral
equations, to derive the near-tip stress field with various interface conditions.
Then, the technique is applied to investigate the size effect of the interface
roughness, where such an effect is related to the ratio between the
characteristic length of the roughness and the nominal length of the crack. It
is found that the resulting near-tip stresses can be profoundly influenced by
the crack path, particularly for short cracks.
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