The calculation of shear stress concentrations performed in the three-dimensional model for brittle fracture, which was developed earlier (Digby and Murrell, 1974), is extended to take into account cases in which Griffith cracks are closed under all-round compression and the crack surfaces are therefore subject to normal contact stresses and frictional tractions arising from sliding of the opposite crack faces.

Many of the results obtained in this paper closely resemble the results obtained for cracks whose surfaces are traction free (Digby and Murrell, 1974). However, it is shown that the effect of crack closure is to cause the maxima of shear and normal stresses to be developed on the same crack (although at different points), which is not the case for open cracks whose surfaces are traction free.

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