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Mechanical Engineering
Osama Khayal


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Fracture is a problem that society has faced for as long as there have been man-made structures. The problem may actually be worse today than in previous centuries, because more can go wrong in our complex technological society. Major airline crashes, for instance, would not be possible without modern aerospace technology. Fortunately, advances in the field of fracture mechanics have helped to offset some of the potential dangers posed by increasing technological complexity. Our  understanding of how materials fail and our ability to prevent such failures have increased considerably since World War II. Much remains to be learned, however, and existing knowledge of fracture mechanics is not always applied when appropriate. While catastrophic failures provide income for attorneys and consulting engineers, such events are detrimental to the economy as a whole. An economic study [1] and [2] estimated the annual cost of fracture in the U.S. in 1978 at $119 billion which was about 4% of the gross national product. Furthermore, this study estimated that the annual cost could be reduced by $35 billion if current technology were applied, and that further fracture mechanics research could reduce this figure by an additional $28 billion. This research paper will introduce several important means of  understanding and dealing with fracture in stressed materials.


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