Prediction of fracture loads in PMMA specimens using the Equivalent Material Concept and the Theory of Critical Distances combined criterion
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This paper provides a methodology for the prediction of fracture loads in notched materials that combines the Equivalent Material Concept with the Theory of Critical Distances. The latter has a linear-elastic nature, and requires material (critical distance) calibration in those cases where the non-linear material behaviour is significant. The calibration may be performed by fracture testing on notched specimens, finite elements modelling or a combination of fracture and simulation. In any case, it may constitute a major issue when applying the Theory of Critical Distances on an industrial level. The proposed methodology sets out to define an equivalent linear-elastic material on which the Theory of Critical Distances may be applied through its basic formulation and without any previous calibration of the corresponding critical distance. It has been applied to PMMA Single Edge Notch Bending specimens, providing accurate predictions of fracture loads.