In the presence of extensive non-linearity followed by notch-induced plasticity, without subcritical crack growth, the stress at which crack spreading occurs from a hole is predicted using the unnotched strength and parameters computed from the load-displacement record, namely the applied energy, the initial slope of the load-displacement record and the non-linearity index. Thus the applied energy coupled with the non-linearity index and slope of the initial portion of the load-displacement record can be successfully used for design purposes when holes are present in structural members. The fracture parameters are also expressed in non-dimensional form using the net section stress and this is found to be a linear function of notch parameter, which is defined as the ratio of notch diameter to specimen width, w. This makes its application to design purposes simple, once the load-displacement record is established. Experimental investigations agree quite well with the theoretical predictions. © 1992.