A new computational method based on the equivalent domain integral (EDI) is developed for mode I fracture analysis of orthotropic functionally graded materials (FGMs) subjected to thermal stresses. By using the constitutive relations of plane orthotropic thermoelasticity, generalized definition of the J-integral is converted to an equivalent domain integral to calculate the thermal stress intensity factor. In the formulation of the EDI approach, all the required thermomechanical properties are assumed to have continuous spatial variations through the functionally graded medium. Developed methodology is integrated into a fracture mechanics research finite element code FRAC2D using graded finite elements that possess cubic interpolation. Steady-state and transient temperature distribution profiles in orthotropic FGMs are computed using the finite elements based heat transfer analysis software HEAT2D. EDI method is validated and domain independence is demonstrated by comparing the numerical results obtained using EDI to those calculated by an enriched finite element method and to those available in the literature. Single and periodic edge crack problems in orthotropic FGMs are examined in order to study the influences of principal thermal expansion coefficient and thermal conductivity components, relative crack length and crack periodicity on the thermal stress intensity factors. Numerical results show that among the three principal thermal expansion coefficient components, the in-plane component perpendicular to the crack axis has the most significant influence on the mode I stress intensity factor. Gradation profile of the thermal expansion coefficient parallel to the crack axis is shown to have no effect on the outcome of the fracture analysis. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.