Variable-notch one-size test method for fracture energy and process zone length

Tianxi Tang*, Zdenek P. Bažant, Sungchul Yang, Dan Zollinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Based on the generalized theory of the size effect law allowing dissimilar specimens, this paper proposes a new version of the size effect method for determining the fracture energy Gf and effective process zone length cf, which permits using specimens of only one shape and one size, but with different notch lengths. Cutting notches of different lengths on specimens of the same shape and size is an easy way to obtain specimens of different brittleness numbers, as required by the size effect method. Either linear or nonlinear regression of measured maximum loads of these specimens can give the material parameters Gf and cf. An experimental program is conducted to verify the proposed method. The notched holed split-tension cylinder is found to be a suitable specimen shape, while the notched eccentric compression specimen is found to provide a barely sufficient range of brittleness numbers. The analysis in the paper also indicates that there exists an upper limit of notch (or initial crack) length for some specimen geometries as the limit for validity of the definition of brittleness number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-404
Number of pages22
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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