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Microstructure-Properties: I
Lecture 6B:
Fracture Toughness:
Objective
Stress vs
how to use it, and measure it
Griffith
Plasticity
Plastic
27-301
Zone Processing
Fall, 2007 Performance
Example
Measure- Prof. A. D. Rollett
ment
Fracto-
graphy
MicrostructureProperties
2

Objective
• The objective of this lecture is to build upon
the basic concepts of fracture toughness
Objective and stress intensity introduced in part A.
Stress vs
Griffith
Realistic approaches to fracture toughness
Plasticity are considered with information on how to
Plastic measure toughness.
Zone
• Part of the motivation for this lecture is to
Example
Measure-
prepare the class for a Lab on the sensitivity
ment of mechanical properties to microstructure.
Fracto-
graphy
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Key Points
• The Griffith equation applies to technological materials.
• Toughness scales with modulus, as does strength.
• Toughness is highly dependent on material type: the most
Objective important issue is the presence (toughness) or absence
Stress vs (brittleness) of plasticity.
Griffith • Plasticity makes a large contribution to the energy absorbed in
Plasticity crack propagation because plastic deformation at the crack tip
blunts the tip (lower stress concentration) and substantially
Plastic increases the amount of work required per unit crack advance.
Zone
• Measurement of toughness uses many methods: two basic
Example methods measure critical stress intensity in plane strain, KIC,
Measure- and the energy absorbed in impact (Charpy Test).
ment • Fractography, i.e. classification+quantification of the fracture
surfaces, is useful as a microstructural diagnostic for
Fracto-
toughness, in addition to the quantitative measures of
graphy
mechanical behavior.
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Toughnesses in Materials
• Before looking at the influence of microstructure on fracture
toughness, it is useful to review the range of toughnesses
observed in real materials.
Objective • We find that to a first (crude!) approximation, toughness
Stress vs scales with strength.
Griffith
• An immediate refinement is to consider the bonding type in
Plasticity the various classes of materials: metals tend to have simpler
Plastic structures with easier dislocation motion, i.e. more energy
Zone absorbed in crack propagation. Ceramics have covalent or
Example ionic bonding with much higher resistance to dislocation
motion, especially at ambient conditions.
Measure-
ment
Fracto-
graphy
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Map of
toughness vs. Tough

strength
Objective
Stress vs
Griffith Glass-like
Plasticity brittleness
Plastic
Zone
Design with care
Example
below this line!
Measure-
ment [Ashby]

Fracto-
graphy
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Use of the Griffith equation


• The Griffith equation can be applied immediately to practical
problems.
• Problem: estimate the strength of a brittle material (meaning
Objective that we can ignore plastic yield) with properties,
E = 100 GPa, γ = 1 J.m-2,
Stress vs
and a crack length of 2.5 µm. 2"E
Griffith
The answer is σbreak = √(2Eγ/πc) = ! break =
Plasticity √(2.1011.1/π/2.5.10-6)= 160 MPa #c
Plastic • Now it is instructive to compare this result with that from the
Zone stress concentration equation, with the crack tip radius set
equal to, say, 8a0:
Example
σbreak = √(Eγρ/4a0c) = √(Eγ8a0/4a0c) = √(2Eγ/c) ! "E #
Measure- break =
11 -6
√(2.10 .1/2.5.10 )= 283 MPa 4a0 c
ment
• So, we see that, even for a fairly sharp crack, the Griffith
Fracto- (energy balance) equation sets the lower limit on fracture
graphy strength.
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Which equation controls?


5
!fr=!(E"#/4a0c)
Griffith eq.
Fracture Strength (arbitrary units) controls (Stress concentration)
4

Objective
3
!fr=!(2E"/"c)
Stress vs
Griffith (Griffith)
2
Plasticity
Stress concentration
Plastic equation controls
1
Zone
Example
0
Measure- 0 5 10 15 20
ment Tip Radius (multiples of a0)
Fracto- The paradox: although the Griffith equation (black line) appears to be a
graphy necessary but not sufficient condition for fracture because one also needs for
the stress at the crack tip to exceed the breaking stress (the red line), as a
matter of practical experience, it does successfully predict when fracture will
actually occur.
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Application to structural materials


• Notwithstanding the previous slides on energy balance
(Griffith) versus stress concentration, the experimental fact is
that the Griffith equation works well for many different
Objective materials.
Stress vs • It works well, not in its literal form with the surface energy
Griffith determining the energy consumed, but with an additional
Plasticity energy term that accounts for the effect of plasticity (crack
Plastic bridging, phase transformation….). This was one of Orowan’s
Zone (many) contributions to the field.
Example
Measure- 2(" surface + " plastic)E
ment
! break =
Fracto-
graphy
#c
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Toughness
• Recall that we define a stress intensity as K=σ√c.
• Cracking is defined by K > Kc, where Kc is a critical stress
intensity or fracture toughness, and is a material property.
Objective
Stress vs σbreak = Kc/√(πc)
Griffith
Plasticity • We can also define a toughness, Gc, which is given by
Plastic
Zone σbreak = √(EGc/πc)
Example
and allows us to modify (increase) the apparent surface energy
Measure-
to account for plastic work at the crack tip.
ment
• The toughness can be thought of as the combination of
Fracto-
graphy
surface energy and plastic work done at the crack tip noted on
the previous slide: Gc = γsurface + γplastic
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Effect of plasticity
• How important is the additional term?
• In metals, very important: compared to typical
Objective surface energies between 0.5 and 2 J.m-2, the plastic
work term ranges up to 103 J.m-2. Therefore the
Stress vs
Griffith surface energy term can be neglected in most metal
alloys.
Plasticity
• Again, we cannot use the Griffith equation in its basic
Plastic
Zone form, even with the addition of the plastic work,
however.
Example
Measure-
• The plasticity results in a plastic zone immediately in
ment front of the crack tip. This is the zone within which
Fracto-
significant yielding has occurred. Remember that the
graphy stress concentration leads to locally higher stresses
and so, only in the vicinity of the crack will the yield
stress be exceeded.
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Plastic Zone
• The plastic zone is a simple concept to visualize. Within a certain radius of
the crack tip, the yield stress is exceeded
and the material
Objective has deformed
(consuming energy
Stress vs thereby and
Griffith contributing to
Plasticity toughness). Clearly
the lower the yield
Plastic strength, the larger
Zone the plastic zone, rp.
Actually the size
rp
Example
depends on the
Measure-
ratio of the applied
ment stress, σ, to the
Fracto- yield stress, σy :
graphy rp ∝ σ/σy

[Dowling]
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Crack Tip

Different length
Objective scales at which
Stress vs to view a crack tip
Griffith
Plasticity
Plastic
Zone
Example
Measure-
ment
Fracto-
graphy [McClintock, Argon]
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Effective crack length


• An important but slightly counter-intuitive idea is that the effective
crack length is longer than the actual value as a result of the plastic
zone, i.e. ceffective = cactual + rp.
• Size of the plastic zone?
Objective rp = K2/2πσ02 = σ2c/2σ02 ≡ σ2c/2σ2yield.
Stress vs • Substituting this relationship into the standard Griffith equation, we
obtain:
Griffith
σbreak = Kc/√(πc),
Plasticity as
σf ≡ σbreak = Kc/√(π{c+rp}) = Kc/√(πc{1 + Kc2/2cπσ02}),
Plastic σ2 {1 + Kc2/2cπσ02} = Kc2/(πc),
Zone σ2 = Kc2(1/(πc) - σ2 /2cπσ02},
Example πcσ2 = Kc2(1 - σ2 /2σ02),
and re-arrange so that we obtain the following modified form:
Measure-
ment
" f #c
Fracto- σ0 ≡ σyield K effective =
2
graphy %
1 " (
1$ '' **
2 & " yield )
14

Effective crack length, contd.


• This second version is an empirical generalization of the first one: σf
is the fracture strength, σ is the operating stress in the material, and
σyield is the yield stress of the material. KIc is the plane strain fracture
toughness (critical stress intensity). A, B and α are constants that
Objective depend on crack geometry (of order unity). In the next slides, B is
Stress vs written as a function of c/a, the ratio of the (elliptical) crack
Griffith (semi-)length, a, to its depth, c.
• One can either calculate a fracture strength for a given set of
Plasticity parameters, calculate a maximum operating stress similarly, or,
Plastic determine whether the fracture toughness dictated by the quantities
Zone on the RHS is higher than the actual fracture toughness of the
material.
Example
Measure- & " )2
ment B % A(( ++
" f #$c ' " yield *
Fracto- K Ic = , " f = K Ic
graphy & " ) 2 #$c
B % A(( ++
' " yield *
15

Objective
Stress vs
Griffith
Plasticity
Plastic
Example
Zone
Example
problem
Measure-
ment
Fracto-
graphy [Courtney, p431]
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Measuring Fracture Toughness


• How do we measure fracture toughness?
• Two examples:
A - measure the critical stress intensity (KIc) in plane
Objective
strain by measuring the stress required to propagate
Stress vs
Griffith a sharp crack.
Plasticity B - measure the energy absorbed in a rapid fracture
Plastic
of a bar - the Charpy test.
Zone • The first method measures a quantity corresponding
Example to the values in the equations discussed (but a pre-
Measure- existing crack is used).
ment
• The second test is a more macroscopic test but it
Fracto-
graphy
includes the effect of crack nucleation (which may be
difficult enough to raise the effective toughness).
17

Compact Tension test


• The load is increased until crack propagation starts: for a large enough
specimen, the stress intensity at this point is the critical stress intensity, KIC. P
is the load, t is the specimen thickness, b is the distance from the loading
point to the right-hand face, and Fp is a function of the crack geometry.

Objective
Stress vs
Griffith
Plasticity
Plastic
Zone Fatigue [Dowling]
crack;
Example
grown
Measure- before
ment fracture
Fracto- expt.
graphy
18

Charpy Test
• The Charpy test uses a
square bar with a small
Objective notch in it.
Stress vs • The further the pendulum
Griffith swings after breaking the
Plasticity specimen, the less
Plastic energy was absorbed in
Zone the impact, and vice
Example versa.
Measure-
ment
• Higher toughness results
Fracto-
in higher energy
graphy absorbed.
19

Fractography
• Fractography is the practice of characterizing
fracture surfaces.
Objective • Surface preparation is not needed - one needs to
Stress vs examine the surfaces as fractured, which means
Griffith that it should be done promptly so as to avoid
Plasticity changes from oxidation, corrosion etc.
Plastic • The rough, irregular nature of fracture surfaces
Zone
means that optical microscopy is of little use.
Example
Measure-
• Scanning electron microscopy is most useful in
ment fractography.
Fracto-
graphy
20

Sample scale
• Example of high strength steel from a compact
tension test.
Objective
Stress vs
Griffith Crack
Plasticity propagation
Plastic
Zone
Example Shear
Measure-
Lips
ment Crack tip
Fracto-
graphy
21

Grain scale
• These micrographs contrast the appearance of
ductile and brittle fractures at the microstructural
Objective scale.
[Dowling]
Stress vs
Griffith
Plasticity Ductile (tearing)
Plastic
Zone
Example
Measure-
ment Brittle (cleavage)
Fracto-
graphy
22

Ductile fracture
Cup and cone fracture - each
dimple is a void (which may or
may not have a particle in it) • In contrast to brittle
fracture, which is a
Objective cleavage process
Stress vs (and, in crystalline
Griffith
materials typically
Plasticity
follows low index
Plastic planes), ductile
Zone
fracture only occurs
Example
after much plastic
Measure-
ment
deformation.
Fracto-
graphy
23

Summary (part B)
• The Griffith equation has been extended to technological
materials.
• Toughness scales with modulus, as does strength.
Objective
• Toughness is highly dependent on material type: the most
Stress vs important issue is the presence (toughness) or absence
Griffith
(brittleness) of plasticity.
Plasticity • Plasticity makes a large contribution to the energy absorbed in
Plastic crack propagation.
Zone
• Measurement methods contrasted between KIC and impact
Example testing (Charpy).
Measure- • Fractography introduced as a diagnostic for toughness, in
ment addition to the quantitative measures.
Fracto-
graphy
24
Case Study:
Failure Analysis of a Rocket Motor Case
A rocket motor case was made of a material that had a yield strength of 215 ksi (=
1485 MPa) and a KIC of 53 ksi(in)1/2 (= 58 MPa.m3/2) and it failed at a stress of
150 ksi. Examination of the failed component showed that there was an
elliptical surface crack with a depth of 0.039 inches (= 0.99 mm) and a length
of 1.72 in (= 43.7 mm). Could this flaw have been responsible for the failure?
Objective
Stress vs Answer:
Griffith The value of f(c/a) (=B) for this flaw is 1.38. Rearranging the equation that relates
fracture toughness to yield strength and operating stress, we obtain:
Plasticity
2 2
f (c a ) # 0.212(" " y ) 1.38 # 0.212(" " y )
Plastic " fracture = K IC = K IC
1.20$c 1.20$c
Zone
Example Now we estimate the fracture stress iteratively by substituting values of KIC and
!
the crack depth, c, (not the half-length!) and assume the operating stress
Measure- value, σ, of 150 ksi, in order to estimate the RHS; then we compare the value
ment on the RHS with the known fracture stress on the LHS. The answer turns out
to be 156 ksi, which is not far off the actual fracture stress of 150 ksi.
Fracto- Substituting 156 ksi as the operating stress value, σ, into the RHS produces
graphy 156 ksi as the computed fracture stress. At this point the iteration has
converged well enough for our purposes. The close agreement between the
actual and the computed fracture stresses suggests that the flaw was very
likely to have been the cause of the failure.
Source: Courtney: Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Ch. 9.
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References
• Materials Principles & Practice, Butterworth Heinemann,
Edited by C. Newey & G. Weaver.
• G.E. Dieter, Mechanical Metallurgy, McGrawHill, 3rd Ed.
Objective • Courtney, T. H. (2000). Mechanical Behavior of Materials.
Stress vs Boston, McGraw-Hill.
Griffith • R.W. Hertzberg (1976), Deformation and Fracture Mechanics
Plasticity of Engineering Materials, Wiley.
• N.E. Dowling (1998), Mechanical Behavior of Materials,
Plastic
Prentice Hall.
Zone
• D.J. Green (1998). An Introduction to the Mechanical
Example Properties of Ceramics, Cambridge Univ. Press, NY.
Measure- • A.H. Cottrell (1964), The Mechanical Properties of Matter,
ment Wiley, NY.
Fracto-
graphy