The near-tip fields of small Case B cracks in power-law hardening materials are investigated under generalized plane-strain and general yielding conditions by finite element analyses. The results for two different crack orientations are examined and compared. The results indicate that the plastic deformation patterns near the tips of the cracks of two different orientations are remarkably similar in terms of the global coordinates. The results of the J integral from the finite element analyses are used to correlate to a fatigue crack growth criterion for Case B cracks. The trends of constant ΔJ contours on the Γ-plane for two cracks of different orientations are virtually the same. Further, the trends are compared reasonably well with those of the experimental results of constant fatigue life and constant fatigue crack growth rate.

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