In the present paper it has been discussed the physical meaning of J-integral when it is applied to sharply V-notched components by calculating it along a circular path (JV). Consider a Cartesian reference frame having the x axis parallel to the notch bisector, JV, for a given circular path, is proportional to the energy release rate of a virtual crack having length equal to the path radius and emanating from the tip of a V-notch. Analytical and numerical results have been performed for linear elastic materials. Finally, as an engineering application, fatigue analysis of welded joints made by using the JV parameter has been discussed without taking into account the real path direction.
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