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GOJAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY, CHENNAI-52

CYCLE TEST-II-FEBRUARY-2019 (SET A)


BRANCH: B.E /AERONAUTICAL DATE: 27/02/2019
YEAR/SEM: III/VI TIME: 9.45-12.45PM
SUB.NAME: AIRCRAFT MATERIALS AND PROCESSES MAX.MARKS:100
SUB.CODE: AE6404 NO.OFCOPIES:15
STAFF NAME: THANDIAL SELVAM T

PART-A (10x2=20 Marks)


PART-B (5x13=65Marks)
1. a) Briefly describe about atomic structure of materials.
(Or)
b) Describe in detail about crystal structure of solid material.
c)
2. a) How miller indices is helpful in defining planes and directions in a crystal.
(Or)
b) Describe about different types of imperfections in crystals.
c)
13. a) i) What is super plasticity? Explain super plastic forming of aluminium alloys.
Super plastic Forming is a metalworking process for forming sheet metal. It
works upon the theory of super plasticity, which means that ” capability that
some materials have to undergo large uniform elongation prior to necking and
fracture tension”. Super plastic forming (SPF) of sheet metal has been used to
produce very complex shapes and integrated structures that are often lighter and
stronger than the assemblies they have to replace. Titanium alloys and alloys of
zinc-aluminum; when heated , they can elongate to many times their original
length.
Some other materials which shows “superplasticity” are:
1. Titanium alloys 2. Aluminum alloys 3. Bismuth-tin alloys 4. Zinc-aluminum
alloys 5. Stainless steel 6. Aluminum-lithium alloys
PROCESS
• The process typically conducted at high temperature and under controlled strain
rate, can give a ten-fold increase in elongation compared to conventional room
temperature processes. Components are formed by applying gas pressure
between one or more sheets and a die surface, causing the sheets to stretch and
fill the die cavity. Specific alloys of titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum are
commercially available with the fine-grained microstructure and strain rate
sensitivity of flow stress that are necessary for Super plastic deformation. • SPF
can produce parts that are impossible to form using conventional techniques.
During the SPF process, the material is heated to the SPF temperature within a
sealed die. Inert gas pressure is then applied, at a controlled rate forcing the
material to take the shape of the die pattern. Super plastic alloys can be stretched
at higher temperatures by several times of their initial length without breaking.

EXAMPLES
1. Construction of fuel Tanks
2. Muddy Guards of Motorcars
ii) Describe different heat treatment processes available for aluminium alloys and
state their respective purposes.
I. Annealing
Annealing is applied to both grades to promote softening. Complete and partial
annealing heat treatments are the only ones used for the non-heat treatable alloys.
The exception is the 5000 series alloys which are sometimes given low temperature
stabilisation treatment and this is carried out by the producer.Annealing is carried out
in the range 300-410°C depending on the alloy. Heating times at temperature vary
from 0.5 to 3 hours, conditional on the size of the load and the alloy type. Generally,
the time need not be longer than that required to stabilise the load at temperature.
Rate of cooling after annealing is not critical.Where parts have been solution heat-
treated a maximum cooling rate of 20°C per hour must be maintained until the
temperature is reduced to 290°C. Below this temperature, the rate of cooling is not
important.

II. Solution Heat Treatment


This is applicable to the heat treatable alloys and involves a heat treatment process
whereby the alloying constituents are taken into solution and retained by rapid
quenching. Subsequent heat treatment at tower temperatures i.e. ageing or natural
ageing at room temperature allows for a controlled precipitation of the constituents
thereby achieving increased hardness and strength.
Time at temperature for solution treatment depends on the type of alloy and the
furnace load. Sufficient time must be allowed to take the alloys into solution if
optimum properties are to be obtained.
The solution treatment temperature is critical to the success of the procedure. It is
desirable that the solution heat treatment is carried out as close as possible to the
liquidus temperature in order to obtain maximum solution of the constituents.
Accurate furnace temperature and special temperature variation must be controlled to
within a range of ±5°C for most alloys. Overheating must be avoided i.e. exceeding
initial eutectic melting temperatures. Often the early stages of overheating are not
apparent but will result in a deterioration of mechanical properties.
Proper solution heat treatment of the aluminium alloys requires an expert knowledge
of the alloy being treated plus the correct heat treatment plant.
III. Quenching
Another factor to be considered in quenching is the work load and the ability of the
quenchant to extract the heat at sufficient rate to achieve the desired results.The
usual quenching medium is water at room temperature. In some circumstances slow
quenching is desirable as this improves the resistance to stress corrosion cracking of
certain copper-free Al-Zn-Mg alloys.Parts of complex shapes such as forgings,
castings, impact extrusions and components produced from sheet metal may be
quenched at slower quenching rates to improve distortion characteristics.Thus a
compromise must be considered to achieve a balance of properties in some instances.
Quenchants used in slower quenching applications include water heated to 65-80°C,
boiling water, aqueous solutions of polyalkalene glycol or forced air blast.

IV. Age Hardening


After solution treatment and quenching, hardening is achieved either at room
temperature (natural ageing) or with a precipitation heat treatment (artificial ageing).
In some alloys sufficient precipitation occurs in a few days at room temperature to
yield stable products with properties that are adequate for many applications. These
alloys sometimes are precipitation heat treated to provide increased strength and
hardness in wrought and cast alloys. Other alloys with slow precipitation reactions at
room temperature are always precipitation heat treated before being used.In some
alloys, notably those of the 2xxx series, cold working of freshly quenched materials
greatly increases its response to later precipitation treatment. Mills take advantage of
this phenomenon by applying a controlled amount of rolling (sheet and plate) or
stretching (extrusion, bar and plate) to produce higher mechanical properties.
However, if the higher properties are used in design, reheat treatment must be
avoided.Where natural ageing is carried out the time may vary from around 5 days
for the 2xxx series alloys to around 30 days for other alloys. The 6xxx and 7xxx
series alloys are considerably less stable at room temperature and continue to exhibit
changes in mechanical properties for many years. With some alloys, natural ageing
may be suppressed or delayed for several days by refrigeration at -18°C or lower. It
is common practice to complete forming, straightening and coining before ageing
changes material properties appreciably. Conventional practice allows for
refrigeration of alloys 2014 - T4 rivets to maintain good driving characteristics.
The artificial ageing or precipitation heat treatments are low temperature long time
processes. Temperatures range from 115-200°C and times from 5-48 hours. As with
solution treatment accurate temperature control and spatial variation temperatures
are critical to the process and generally temperatures should be held to a range of
±7°C.The change of time-temperature parameters for precipitation treatment should
receive careful consideration. Larger particles or precipitates result from longer
times and higher temperatures. The objective is to select the cycle that produces the
optimum precipitate size and distribution pattern. Unfortunately, the cycle required
to maximise one property, such as tensile strength, is usually different from that
required to maximise others such as yield strength and corrosion resistance.
Consequently, the cycles used represent compromises that provide the best
combination of properties.

(Or)

b) Write notes on the following topics


i) Corrosion and different types of corrosion.

ii) Stress corrosion cracking.


iii) Corrosion resistance materials used for air and space vehicles and their
properties.
1. Alloys of steel
2. Alloys of aluminium
3. Composite materials
14. a) With the help of neat stress-train curve, contrast the mechanical behaviour of
brittle and ductile material in a tensile test.
(Or)

b) i) Explain the Bauchinger’s effect in the mechanical behaviour of a material


ii) What are the typical elastic constants of a metal? How these constants are
experimentally determined?
A tensile test, also known as a tension test, is one of the most fundamental and
common types of mechanical testing. A tensile test applies tensile (pulling) force to a
material and measures the specimen's response to the stress. By doing this, tensile
tests determine how strong a material is and how much it can elongate.Tensile tests
are typically conducted on electromechanical or universal testing instruments, are
simple to perform, and are fully standardized.

Modulus of Elasticity
The modulus of elasticity is a measure of the material's stiffness which only applies
in the initial linear region of the curve. Within this linear region the tensile load can
be removed from the specimen and the material will return to the exact same
condition it had been in prior to the load being applied. At the point when the curve
is no longer linear and deviates from the straight-line relationship, Hooke's Law no
longer applies, and some permanent deformation occurs in the specimen. This point
is called the "elastic or proportional limit." From this point on in the tensile test, the
material reacts plastically to any further increase in load or stress. It will not return to
its original, unstressed condition if the load is removed.

Torsion Test
Torsion tests twist a material or test component to a specified degree, with a
specified force, or until the material fails in torsion. The twisting force of a torsion
test is applied to the test sample by anchoring one end so that it cannot move or
rotate and applying a moment to the other end so that the sample is rotated about its
axis. The rotating moment may also be applied to both ends of the sample but the
ends must be rotated in opposite directions.

Modulus of Rigidity - G - (Shear Modulus) is the coefficient of elasticity for a


shearing force. It is defined as

"The ratio of shear stress to the displacement per unit sample length (shear strain)"

15. a) Explain about X ray diffraction method used to examine crystal imperfection
X-ray crystallography (XRC) is a technique used for determining the atomic and
molecular structure of a crystal, in which the crystalline structure causes a beam of
incident X-rays to diffract into many specific directions. By measuring the angles
and intensities of these diffracted beams, a crystallographer can produce a three-
dimensional picture of the density of electrons within the crystal. From this electron
density, the mean positions of the atoms in the crystal can be determined, as well as
their chemical bonds, their crystallographic disorder, and various other information.
Since many materials can form crystals—such
as salts, metals, minerals, semiconductors, as well as various inorganic, organic, and
biological molecules—X-ray crystallography has been fundamental in the
development of many scientific fields. In its first decades of use, this method
determined the size of atoms, the lengths and types of chemical bonds, and the
atomic-scale differences among various materials, especially minerals and alloys.
The method also revealed the structure and function of many biological molecules,
including vitamins, drugs, proteins and nucleic acids such as DNA. X-ray
crystallography is still the primary method for characterizing the atomic structure of
new materials and in discerning materials that appear similar by other experiments.
X-ray crystal structures can also account for unusual electronic or elastic properties
of a material, shed light on chemical interactions and processes, or serve as the basis
for designing pharmaceuticals against diseases.
In a single-crystal X-ray diffraction measurement, a crystal is mounted on
a goniometer. The goniometer is used to position the crystal at selected orientations.
The crystal is illuminated with a finely focused monochromatic beam of X-rays,
producing a diffraction pattern of regularly spaced spots known as reflections. The
two-dimensional images taken at different orientations are converted into a three-
dimensional model of the density of electrons within the crystal using the
mathematical method of Fourier transforms, combined with chemical data known for
the sample. Poor resolution (fuzziness) or even errors may result if the crystals are
too small, or not uniform enough in their internal makeup.
X-ray crystallography is related to several other methods for determining atomic
structures. Similar diffraction patterns can be produced by scattering electrons
or neutrons, which are likewise interpreted by Fourier transformation. If single
crystals of sufficient size cannot be obtained, various other X-ray methods can be
applied to obtain less detailed information; such methods include fiber
diffraction, powder diffraction and (if the sample is not crystallized) small-angle X-
ray scattering (SAXS). If the material under investigation is only available in the
form of nanocrystalline powders or suffers from poor crystallinity, the methods
of electron crystallography can be applied for determining the atomic structure.

(Or)

b) Distinguish between brittle fracture and ductile fracture.


Brittle Fracture:
In brittle fracture, no apparent plastic deformation takes place before fracture. Brittle
fracture typically involves little energy absorption and occurs at high speeds—up to
2133.6 m/s (7000 ft/s) in steel. In most cases brittle fracture will continue even when
loading is discontinued.
In brittle crystalline materials, fracture can occur by cleavage as the result of tensile
stress acting normal to crystallographic planes with low bonding (cleavage planes).
In amorphous solids, by contrast, the lack of a crystalline structure results in
a conchoidal fracture, with cracks proceeding normal to the applied tension.
In ductile fracture, extensive plastic deformation (necking) takes place before
fracture. The terms rupture or ductile rupture describes the ultimate failure of ductile
materials loaded in tension. Rather than cracking, the material "pulls apart,"
generally leaving a rough surface. In this case there is slow propagation and an
absorption of a large amount of energy before fracture.

Schematic representation of the steps in ductile fracture (in pure tension)


Because ductile rupture involves a high degree of plastic deformation, the fracture
behavior of a propagating crack as modelled above changes fundamentally. Some of
the energy from stress concentrations at the crack tips is dissipated by plastic
deformation ahead of the crack as it propagates.
The basic steps in ductile fracture are void formation, void coalescence (also known
as crack formation), crack propagation, and failure, often resulting in a cup-and-cone
shaped failure surface.

PART-C (1x15=15Marks)
16. a) Explain the following heat treatment processes in detail.
i) Annealing
ii) Normalising
(Or)
b) Explain the following heat treatment processes in detail.
i) Tempering
ii) Hardening
GOJAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY, CHENNAI-52
CYCLE TEST-II -FEBRUARY-2019 (SET B)
BRANCH: B.E /AERONAUTICAL DATE: 27/02/2019
YEAR/SEM: III/VI TIME: 9.45-12.45PM
SUB.NAME: AIRCRAFT MATERIALS AND PROCESSES MAX.MARKS:100
SUB.CODE: AE6404 NO.OFCOPIES:15
STAFF NAME: THANDIAL SELVAM T
PART-A (10x2 = 20 Marks)
PART-B (5x13=65Marks)
1. a) What are the defects that could possibly present in a crystal?
b)
(Or)
c) How do you identify directions and planes in a crystal system?
2. a) Explain the following
(i) Strain hardening
(ii) Fatigue
(iii) Creep
(Or)
b) i) Explain in detail about Bauchinger’s effect.
ii) Make a comparison between metals, ceramics, polymer and composites
1. Metals are combinations of metallic elements. Metallic materials have
large number of nonlocalized electrons, i.e. electrons are not bound to
particular atoms. Many properties of metals are directly attributable to
these electrons. All metals are characterized by metallic properties, e.g.
luster, opacity, malleability, ductility and electrical conductivity. Although
metals compose about three fourth of the known elements but few find
service in their pure form. The desired properties for engineering purposes
are often found in alloys. Typical examples of metallic materials are iron,
aluminium, copper, zinc, etc. and their alloys. Metals are extremely good
conductors of electricity. A polished metal surface has a lustrous
appearance. Moreover, metals are quite strong, yet deformable, which
accounts for their extensive use in structural applications. Metallic
materials are always crystalline in nature. Scientists have developed
amorphous (non-crystalline) alloys by very rapid cooling of a melt or by
very high-energy mechanical miling. Recently, scientists have developed
materials through rapid solidification called as quasicrystals. These are
neither crystalline nor amorphous, but form an ordered structure
somewhere between two known structures. These materials are expected to
exhibit far reaching electrical properties.
2. Ceramics are crystalline compounds between metallic and non-metallic
elements. They are most frequently oxides, nitrides and carbides.
Nowadays graphite is also categorized in ceramics. The wide range of
materials which falls within this classification include ceramics that are
composed of clay minerals, cement and glass. Glass is grouped with this
class because it has similar properties but most glasses are amorphous.
Ceramics are characterised by high hardness, abrasion resistance,
brittleness and chemical inertness. Ceramics are typically insulative to the
passage of electricity and heat, and are more resistant to high temperatures
and harsh environments than metals and polymers. With regard to
mechanical behaviour, these materials are hard but very brittle. These
materials are widely categorized into oxide and non-oxide ceramics.
3. Polymers are organic substances and derivatives of carbon and hydrogen.
Polymers include the familiar plastic and rubber materials. Usually
polymers are classified into three categories: thermoplastic polymers,
thermosetting polymers and elastomers, better called as rubbers. Polymers
have very large molecular structures. Most plastic polymers are light in
weight and are soft in comparison to metals. Polymer materials have
typically low densities and may be extremely flexible and widely used as
insulators, both thermal and electrical. Few examples of polymers are
polyesters, phenolics, polyethylene.
4. A composite material is composed of at least two materials, which combine to
give properties superior to those of the individual constituents.
we refer to fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, usually with carbon,
glass, aramid, polymer or natural fibres embedded in a polymer matrix. Other
matrix materials can be used and composites may also contain fillers or nano-
materials such as graphene.
The many component materials and different processes that can be used make
composites extremely versatile and efficient. They typically result in lighter,
stronger, more durable solutions compared to traditional materials.
13. a) Explain in detail about flaw detection in material and aircraft components.
Liquid Penetrant Method
The basic principle of liquid penetrant testing is that when a very low viscosity
(highly fluid) liquid (the penetrant) is applied to the surface of a part, it will
penetrate into fissures and voids open to the surface. Once the excess penetrant is
removed, the penetrant trapped in those voids will flow back out, creating an
indication.
Magnetic Particle Testing
Magnetic Particle Testing uses one or more magnetic fields to locate surface and
near-surface discontinuities in ferromagnetic materials. The magnetic field can
be applied with a permanent magnet or an electromagnet. When using an
electromagnet, the field is present only when the current is being applied. When
the magnetic field encounters a discontinuity transverse to the direction of the
magnetic field, the flux lines produce a magnetic flux leakage field of their own
as shown in Figure 1. Because magnetic flux lines don't travel well in air, when
very fine colored ferromagnetic particles ("magnetic particles") are applied to the
surface of the part the particles will be drawn into the discontinuity, reducing the
air gap and producing a visible indication on the surface of the part. The
magnetic particles may be a dry powder or suspended in a liquid solution, and
they may be colored with a visible dye or a fluorescent dye that fluoresces under
an ultraviolet ("black") light.

Radiography
Industrial radiography involves exposing a test object to penetrating radiation so
that the radiation passes through the object being inspected and a recording
medium placed against the opposite side of that object. For thinner or less dense
materials such as aluminum, electrically generated x-radiation (X-rays) are
commonly used, and for thicker or denser materials, gamma radiation is
generally used.
Ultrasonic testing
Ultrasonic testing uses the same principle as is used in naval SONAR and fish
finders. Ultra-high frequency sound is introduced into the part being inspected
and if the sound hits a material with a different acoustic impedance (density and
acoustic velocity), some of the sound will reflect back to the sending unit and can
be presented on a visual display. By knowing the speed of the sound through the
part (the acoustic velocity) and the time required for the sound to return to the
sending unit, the distance to the reflector (the indication with the different
acoustic impedance) can be determined.

(Or)
b) How material properties are determined experimentally?
14. a) Define corrosion. Explain in detail about its types.
(Or)

b) Explain in detail about equilibrium phase diagram of iron carbon alloy system.
Fe – C Equilibrium Diagram
Phases Observed in Fe-C Diagram -
I. Phases
1. Ferrite
2. Austenite
3. Cementite
4. δ-ferrite
II. And phase mixtures
1. Pearlite
2. Ledeburite
1. Ferrite
Ferrite is the interstitial solid solution of carbon in alpha iron. It has B.C.C.
Structure. It has very limited solubility for carbon (maximum 0.022% at 727°C
and 0.008% at room temperature). Ferrite is soft and ductile.
2. Austenite
Austenite is the interstitial solid solution of carbon in gamma (γ) iron. It has
FCC structure. Austenite can have maximum 2.14% carbon at 1143°C.
Austenite is normally not stable at room temperature. Austenite is nonmagnetic
and soft.
3. Cementite
Cementite or iron carbide (Fe3C) is an intermetallic compound of iron and
carbon. It contains 6.67% carbon. It is very hard and brittle. This intermetallic
compound is a metastable phase and it remains as a compound indefinitely at
room temperature.
4. δ-ferrite
It is a solid solution of carbon in δ-iron. It is stable at high temperatures. It has
BCC structure.
1. Pearlite
The pearlite consists of alternate layers of ferrite and cementite. It has properties
somewhere between ferrite and cementite. The average carbon content in pearlite is
0.76%
2. Ledeburite
Ledeburite is an eutetcic mixture of austenite and cementite in the form of alternate
layers. The average carbon content in ledeburite is 4.3%.
Eutectic Reaction
1. Eutectic reaction:
At 4.30 % C and 1147 °C
 L (4.30% C) ↔ γ (2.14% C) + Fe3C
• In eutectic reaction, the liquid solidifies as a phase mixture of austenite (containing
2.14% C) and cementite. This phase mixture is known as ledeburite.
• The average carbon content in ledeburite is 4.30%.
• The eutectic reaction occurs at a constant temperature. This is known as eutectic
temperature and is 1147 °C.
2. Eutectic Reaction
• Eutectic reaction:
At 4.30 % C and 1147 °C
L (4.30% C) ↔ γ (2.14% C) + Fe3C
• In eutectic reaction, the liquid solidifies as a phase mixture of austenite (containing
2.14% C) and cementite. This phase mixture is known as ledeburite.
• The average carbon content in ledeburite is 4.30%.
• The eutectic reaction occurs at a constant temperature. This is known as eutectic
temperature and is 1147 °C.
3. Peritectic Reaction
• Peritectic reaction:
At 0.16% C and 14930 C
δ(0.11% C) + L(0.51%C) ↔ γ (0.16%C)
• In peritectic reaction, the liquid and δ iron transforms into austenite (containing
0.16%C).
• The peritectic reaction occurs at a constant temperature. This is known as peritectic
temperature and is 1493°C.
15. a) Why medium and high carbon steels are heat treated? And explain annealing and
normalising processes.
(Or)
b) Explain in detail, how low carbon steels are hardened?
Low carbon steels cannot be hardened by heating due to the small amounts of
carbon present.
Case hardening seeks to give a hard outer skin over a softer core on the metal.
The addition of carbon to the outer skin is known as carburising.
Pack Carburising
The component is packed surrounded by a carbon-rich compound and placed in
the furnace at 900 degrees. Over a period of time carbon will diffuse into the
surface of the metal. The longer left in the furnace, the greater the depth of hard
carbon skin. Grain refining is necessary in order to prevent cracking.
• Salt bath carburising. A molten salt bath (sodium cyanide, sodium carbonate
and sodium chloride) has the object immersed at 900 degrees for an hour giving a
thin carbon case when quenched.
• Gas carburising. The object is placed in a sealed furnace with carbon monoxide
allowing for fine control of the process.
• Nitriding. Nitrides are formed on a metal surface in a furnace with ammonia gas
circulating at 500 degrees over a long period of time (100 hours). It is used for
finished components.

Induction hardening
Induced eddy currents heat the surface of the steel very quickly and is quickly
followed by jets of water to quench the component.
A hard outer layer is created with a soft core. The slideways on a lathe are
induction hardened

Flame hardening
• Gas flames raise the temperature of the outer surface above the upper critical
temp. The core will heat by conduction.
• Water jets quench the component.

Age Hardening
• Hardening over a period of time
• Also known as precipitation hardening
• Occurs in duraluminium which is an aluminium alloy that contains 4% copper.
This makes this alloy very useful as it is light yet reasonably hard and strong, it is
used in the space industry.
• The metal is heated and soaked (solution treatment) then cooled and left.

PART-C (1x15=15Marks)
16. a) i) Derive and show that packing efficiency of FCC crystal structure is more than
BCC crystal structure.
ii) List the general requirements of materials used in aerospace applications

(Or)
b) Explain in detail about two different types of fracture.
In brittle fracture, no apparent plastic deformation takes place before fracture. Brittle
fracture typically involves little energy absorption and occurs at high speeds—up to
2133.6 m/s (7000 ft/s) in steel. In most cases brittle fracture will continue even when
loading is discontinued.
In brittle crystalline materials, fracture can occur by cleavage as the result of tensile
stress acting normal to crystallographic planes with low bonding (cleavage planes).
In amorphous solids, by contrast, the lack of a crystalline structure results in
a conchoidal fracture, with cracks proceeding normal to the applied tension.
In ductile fracture, extensive plastic deformation (necking) takes place before
fracture. The terms rupture or ductile rupture describes the ultimate failure of ductile
materials loaded in tension. Rather than cracking, the material "pulls apart," generally
leaving a rough surface. In this case there is slow propagation and an absorption of a
large amount of energy before fracture.

Schematic representation of the steps in ductile fracture (in pure tension)


Because ductile rupture involves a high degree of plastic deformation, the fracture
behavior of a propagating crack as modelled above changes fundamentally. Some of
the energy from stress concentrations at the crack tips is dissipated by plastic
deformation ahead of the crack as it propagates.
The basic steps in ductile fracture are void formation, void coalescence (also known
as crack formation), crack propagation, and failure, often resulting in a cup-and-cone
shaped failure surface.

 Mode I crack – Opening mode (a tensile stress normal to the plane of the crack)
 Mode II crack – Sliding mode (a shear stress acting parallel to the plane of the
crack and perpendicular to the crack front)
 Mode III crack – Tearing mode (a shear stress acting parallel to the plane of the
crack and parallel to the crack front)
The manner in which a crack propagates through a material gives insight into the
mode of fracture. With ductile fracture a crack moves slowly and is accompanied by a
large amount of plastic deformation around the crack tip. A ductile crack will usually
not propagate unless an increased stress is applied and generally cease propagating
when loading is removed. In a ductile material, a crack may progress to a section of
the material where stresses are slightly lower and stop due to the blunting effect of
plastic deformations at the crack tip. On the other hand, with brittle fracture, cracks
spread very rapidly with little or no plastic deformation. The cracks that propagate in
a brittle material will continue to grow once initiated.
Crack propagation is also categorized by the crack characteristics at the microscopic
level. A crack that passes through the grains within the material is undergoing
transgranular fracture. A crack that propagates along the grain boundaries is termed
an intergranular fracture. Typically, the bonds between material grains are stronger at
room temperature than the material itself, so transgranular fracture is more likely to
occur. When temperatures increase enough to weaken the grain bonds, intergranular
fracture is the more common fracture mode.