Crack pattern transition and crack propagation behavior in a quenched glass plate are investigated. Theoretical analysis indicates that the distance between the crack tip and the cold front is closely related to the crack pattern transition. This theoretical result is examined experimentally using instantaneous phase-stepping photoelasticity. As expected theoretically, when the crack tip remains close enough to the cold front, crack propagation remains straight. When this distance reaches a given value, the crack oscillates. These experimental results are in good agreement with the theory of crack pattern transition. Therefore, present theoretical analysis is valid in predicting the instability of crack propagation. The crack tip stress field is also examined by the present experimental method. In particular, in the oscillating regime, the mode-I stress intensity factor frequently becomes larger than the fracture toughness, and the mode-II stress intensity factor has a nonzero value during propagation. For the former result, some reasons are discussed, but the cause of this problem is still unknown. However, the latter result can be explained by the theoretical analysis of an infinitesimal kinked edge crack just after crack initiation.
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