Stress intensity distributions have been experimentally evaluated from cracked photoelastic models of the rectangular chevron-notched short-bar fracture specimen. Two methods were applied to SIF determination from near-tip isochromatic fringes in slices removed perpendicularly to the flaw profiles. No assumption on flaw shape was required in the analysis. Comparisons with experimental and numerical compliance calibrations from the literature are included. Differences between 3-D Finite Element and the present photoelastic SIF distributions are discussed. The observed flaw shapes are compared to others found in different materials. Flaw evolution is interpreted in terms of local SIF variations.
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