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Lecture 1

EBB 334
(Mechanical Metallurgy)



Why Fracture Mechanics?

WWII Liberty Ship

Broke in Two
Brittle failure of Welded part
Weld defects act as
stress raisers
Most of failure occurred
during the winter month
Failure occurred both when
the ships were in heavy
seas & when they were
anchored at dock
Failure part!!!

What is Fracture Mechanics?

Fracture mechanics - The study

of a materials ability to withstand
stress in the presence of a flaw
How do materials fail?

What is Fracture Toughness?

Fracture toughness - The

resistance of a material to failure
in the presence of a flaw.

Fracture Mechanics & Fracture Toughness

Normal cases - Designers worked at
ambient temperature with the lowerstrength, high ductility materials, they
could generally avoid failures by designing
with the stresses below the yield strength
However, when they used the same
methods with the new high strength, low
ductility materials catastrophic failure

ContinueFracture Mechanics & Fracture

The fractures were brittle & did not exhibit
even the lower levels of ductility of the
tensile test bar
New design criteria have been developed
for the safe use of these high-strength
alloys on the basis concept of fracture
toughness & equations developed from
the fracture mechanics

What is fracture?
the separation of a body into two or more pieces
in response to an imposed stress that is static
(i.e., constant or slowly changing with time), and
at temperatures that are low relative to the
melting temperature of the material
The applied stress may be tensile, compressive,
shear, or torsional; the present discussion will be
confined to fractures that result from uniaxial
tensile loads.

For engineering materials, two fracture modes
are possible: ductile and brittle
Classification is based on the ability of a
material to experience plastic deformation.
The process of fracture can be considered to be
made up of two components, crack initiation
and crack propagation

Fracture Energy
To fracture a material, work must be
This work required to supply the energy
needed to create the fracture surfaces &
to plastically deform the material if local
yielding occurs priors to fracture.

Fracture Energy
Energy-balance approach to fracture can be
summarized as:
(Energy input (work) to produce fracture
[surface energy (s) of fracture surfaces]
[ energy of plastic deformation (p)
s = surface energy per unit surface area (J/m2)
p = energy of plastic deformation per unit volume (J/m3)

Fracture Energy

For brittle materials, no plastic deformation occurs prior to fracture &

the energy required for fracture is quite small (small area under curve,
s x fracture surface area)

For ductile materials considerable plastic deformation occurs before

fracture. (The area under curve is quite large, s x fracture surface area
+ p X volume of plastic deformation)
Brittle fracture: elastic energy
Ductile fracture: elastic + plastic energy




Ductile materials typically exhibit substantial
plastic deformation with high energy absorption
before fracture.
On the other hand, there is normally little or no
plastic deformation with low energy absorption
accompanying a brittle fracture.

Shear fracture (ductile fracture):
- promote by shear stresses (extensive slip on the
active slip plane)
- This form of fracture is commonly labeled
fibrous fracture (since the uneven fracture
surface has a fibrous appearance).

Fracture surface of tire cord wire

loaded in tension. irregular and
fibrous appearance

Cleavage fracture (brittle fracture):
- promote by tensile stresses acting at normal to a
crystallographic cleave plane
- Appears bright/granular due to reflection of light
from the flat cleavage surface

Some Microstructural Features of Fracture in

Metallic Materials

Transgranular - Meaning across the grains (e.g., a transgranular

fracture would be fracture in which cracks would go through the

Intergranular - In between grains or along the grain boundaries

Chevron pattern (V shapes) - A common fracture feature produced

by separate crack fronts propagating at different levels in the

Microvoids - Development of small holes in a material when a high

stress causes separation of the metal at grain boundaries or
interfaces between the metal & small impurity particles (inclusion)

Ductile Fracture
Studied much less extensively than brittle
Apart from plastic deformation slow
tearing of metal
Many varieties of ductile fractures can
occur during processing & at different type
of services
Exp necking during tensile force
localized reduction in diameter


surfaces will have their own

distinctive features on both
macroscopic and microscopic
Figure 1a is found for extremely
soft metals, such as pure gold
and lead at room temperature,
and other metals, polymers, and
inorganic glasses at elevated
temperatures. These highly
ductile materials neck down to a
point fracture, showing virtually
100% reduction in area.
The most common type of
tensile fracture profile for
ductile metals is that
represented in Figure 1b.

FIGURE 1 (a) Highly ductile fracture in

which the specimen necks down to a point.
(b) Moderately ductile fracture after some
(c) Brittle fracture without any plastic

Ductile Fracture
Figure 3: When a ductile
material is pulled in a tensile
-necking begins and voids
-Necking begins at the point of
plastic instability (max load)
starting near the center of the
by nucleation at grain
boundaries or inclusions.
- under continued straining
these grow & coalescence into
a central crack
- as deformation continues a
45 shear lip may form,
producing a final cup and cone
Figure 3 Cup-and-cone fracture in aluminum.

Ductile Fracture Cup & Cone

Crack growth in ductile fracture is essential by a
process of void coalescence (merge/combine)
Coalescence occurs by elongation of the voids
and the elongation of the bridges of material
between the voids formation of dimples
Preferred sites for void formation are inclusions,
second phase particles or fine oxide particles or
at grain boundaries

Ductile Fracture Effect of second particles,

Initiation of microcracks can be greatly
influenced by the presence & nature of second
phase particles
A common situations is for the particle to crack
during deformation
Resistance to cracking improves if the particles
is well bonded to the matrix (exp; small particle
& spherical particle)
The ductile phase must be thick enough to yield
before large dislocation are created

Details Fracture Analysis

More detailed information regarding the
mechanism of fracture is available from
microscopic examination, normally using
scanning electron microscopy called
Reveal the topographical features of fracture
Mode/cause of failure

Ductile Fracture Surface

Details Ductile Fracture Analysis

Dimple: Traces of
produced during

Dimples form during ductile fracture. Equiaxed dimples form in the center,
where microvoids grow. Elongated dimples, pointing toward the origin of
failure, form on the shear lip (45)

SEM - Shear Dimple

The structure
finally fails by
shear rupture
(shear lip
formation) on
inclined at 45
to the tensile

Brittle Fracture
Brittle fracture takes place
without any appreciable
deformation, and by rapid
crack propagation. The
direction of crack motion is
very nearly perpendicular
to the direction of the
applied tensile stress and
yields a relatively flat
fracture surface, as
indicated in figure.

Brittle Fracture of Mild steel.

Detail Brittle Fracture Analysis

Flat facets exhibit river marking cause by crack moving
through the crystal along the number of parallel plane.
Absorption of energy by local deformation

Detail Brittle Fracture Analysis

Fracture surfaces of
materials that failed in a
brittle manner will have
their own distinctive
patterns; any signs of
gross plastic deformation
will be absent. For
example, in some steel
pieces, a series of Vshaped "chevron" markings
may form near the center
of the fracture cross
section that point back
toward the crack initiation

Photograph showing V-shaped "chevron"

markings characteristic of brittle fracture.
Arrows indicate origin of crack.

Detail Brittle Fracture Analysis

The Chevron pattern forms as the crack propagates from the

origin at different levels. The pattern points back to the origin

Transgranular Fracture

For most brittle crystalline

materials, crack propagation
corresponds to the successive and
repeated breaking of atomic bonds
along specific crystallographic
planes; such a process is termed
cleavage (split).

This type of fracture is said to be

transgranular (or transcrystalline),
because the fracture cracks pass
through the grains.

Macroscopically, the fracture

surface may have a grainy (rough)
or faceted texture as a result of
changes in orientation of the
cleavage planes from grain to

Intergranular Fracture
In some alloys, crack
propagation is along grain
boundaries; this fracture is
termed Inter-granular.
This type of fracture normally
results subsequent to the
occurrence of processes that
weaken or embrittlement grain
boundary regions.
Segregation at the grain
boundaries can lower the
surface energy sufficiently to
cause intergranular failure

Example - Problem in Fractography

A chain used to hoist heavy load fails.
Examination of the failed link indicates
considerable deformation & necking prior
to failure. List some of the possible
reasons for failure

Solution sample

Ductile failure because of overload.

(1) Fault of user load exceeded the

hoisting capacity of the chain
(2) Fault of manufacturer chain was wrong
composition or was improperly heat
treated. Yield strength was lower

Fracture are classified with respect to
several characteristics: * Gansamer (1952)
Behavior described

Term used

Term used

Strain to fracture



Appearance fracture





Crystallographic mode