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Materials are used to build load-bearing structures. An engineer

needs to know if the material will survive the conditions that the
structure will see in service. Important factors that adversely
affect the toughness of a structure include low-test
temperatures, extra loading and high strain rates due to over
pressurization or impacts and the effect of stress concentrations
such as notches and cracks. These all tend to encourage fracture.
To some extent, the complex interaction of these factors can be
included in the design process by using fracture mechanics
theory. Tests for the impact toughness, such as the Charpy
Impact Test , were developed before fracture mechanics theory
was available. The impact test is a method for evaluating the
relative toughness of engineering materials. The Charpy impact
test continues to be used nowadays as an economical quality
control method to assess the notch sensitivity and impact
toughness of engineering materials. It is usually used to test the
toughness of metals. Similar tests can be used for polymers,
ceramics and composites. The charpy impact test measures the
energy absorbed by the high strain rate fracture of a standard
notched specimen.

In the Charpy Impact Test, the specimen is supported as a simple

beam with a notch in the center. The specimen is supported so
that the notch is on the vertical face away from the point of
impact. Figure 3 and 4 show the dimensions of the Charpy Impact
Test specimen and the positions of the striking edge of the
pendulum and the specimen in the anvil. The specimen is broken by
the impact of a heavy pendulum hammer, falling through a fixed
distance (constant potential energy) to strike the specimen at a
fixed velocity (constant kinetic energy). Tough materials absorb
a lot of energy when fractured and brittle materials absorb very
little energy.

The Izod pendulum test configuration served as the standard in

impact testing in the plastics and metals industry for many years.
The problems with the Izod pendulum test involve several
parameters which can drastically alter the results if not strictly

Position of the Charpy Impact Test specimen on the impact test machine


To test selected specimens under conditions of shock loading at

fixed temperature. Also to measure the energy absorbed in
breaking a notched specimen.
Difference between Izod and Charpy Methods

Izod vs. Charpy Methods

The izod test involved the striker, the testing material, and the
pendulum. The striker was fixed at the end of the pendulum. The
test material was fastened at a vertical position at the bottom,
and the notch was facing the striker. The striker swings
downward, hitting the test material in the middle, at the bottom
of it’s swing, and is left free at the top. The notch is placed to
concentrate the stress, and provoke delicate failure. It lowers
distortion and decreases the ductile fracture. The test was done
easily and quickly to examine the quality of the materials, and
test whether it meets the specific force of collision properties.
It is also used to evaluate the materials for overall hardiness. It
is not applicable to compound materials because of the influence
of complicated and inconsistent failure modes.

The notch is very important because it can affect the result of

the test. The making of the notch has been a problem. Initially,
the radius of the notch is crucial. The radius should not change.
It has an essential effect on the competence of the sample to
absorb the collision. The blades in the notch can overheat the
polymers, and deteriorate the materials surrounding the notch,
which could lead to an inaccurate test result. The Izod method
chose a short projection, supported at one end, to produce better
steel tools for cutting metal.

The Charpy method includes striking an appropriate test material

with a striker fastened at the end of a pendulum. The test
material is secured horizontally in place at both ends, and the
striker hits the center of the test material, behind a machined
notch. The notch is positioned away from the striker, fastened in
a pendulum. The test material usually measures 55×10x10
millimeters. The Charpy method has a machined notch across one
of the larger faces. There are two types of charpy notch, a V-
notch or a U-notch. The V-notch, or the AV-shaped notch,
measures 2 millimeters deep, with a 45 degree angle and 0.25
millimeter radius, parallel to the base. The U-notch, or keyhole
notch, is 5 millimeters deep notch, with a 1 millimeter radius at
the bottom of the notch. Higher speeds and collision energy could
be achieved in a vertical style fall. This method proved to be
reliable, and gave qualitative collision data.


1. In the Izod method, the test material was placed in a vertical

position, while in the Charpy method, the test material was placed

2. The notch in the izod test is facing the striker, fastened in a

pendulum, while in the charpy test; the notch is positioned away
from the striker.

3. In the Charpy method, there are two kinds of notches, the V-

notch and the U-notch, while in the Izod method; there is only
one kind of notch.
Ductile fracture is better because of the following


a) More energy needed in the ductile fracture because

it is a tough material

b) Brittle fracture happens quickly without warning

while the ductile fracture took a longer time before

the whole process to happen

Error source:

1. Use sensors to measure resistance of air so that we

could calculate the energy losses by friction more


2. Try to place the centre of the notch on the specimen

to be at the centre of the impacting load.

3. The data collected should be taken carefully vertically

so that to minimize the error from reading it.

4. Using modern testing equipments that use digital

readers and load amplifiers to reach the most accurate



From the Charpy and izod impact test, brass undergoes

brittle fracture while the brass undergoes ductile

fracture. More energy is absorbed by steel shows that it

is more suitable to be use in the structural construction

that expose to high load for example: car body.