A simple and effective boundary element method for stress intensity factor calculation for crack problems in a plane elastic plate is presented. The boundary element method consists of the constant displacement discontinuity element presented by Crouch and Starfield and the crack-tip displacement discontinuity elements proposed by YAN Xiangqiao. In the boundary element implementation the left or the right crack-tip displacement discontinuity element was placed locally at the corresponding left or right each crack tip on top of the constant displacement discontinuity elements that cover the entire crack surface and the other boundaries. Test examples (i. e., a center crack in an infinite plate under tension, a circular hole and a crack in an infinite plate under tension) are included to illustrate that the numerical approach is very simple and accurate for stress intensity factor calculation of plane elasticity crack problems. In addition, specifically, the stress intensity factors of branching cracks emanating from a square hole in a rectangular plate under biaxial loads were analysed. These numerical results indicate the present numerical approach is very effective for calculating stress intensity factors of complex cracks in a 2-D finite body, and are used to reveal the effect of the biaxial loads and the cracked body geometry on stress intensity factors.
stress intensity factor boundary element method displacement discontinuity crack-tip element