Mechanical Behavior I.

Ductile to Brittle Transition Temperature

The ductile-brittle transition is exhibited in bcc metals, such as low carbon steel, which become brittle at low temperature or at very high strain rates. FCC metals, however, generally remain ductile at low temperatures. In metals, plastic deformation at room temperature occurs by dislocation motion. The stress required to move a dislocation depends on the atomic bonding, crystal structure, and obstacles such as solute atoms, grain boundaries, precipitate particles and other dislocations. If the stress required to move the dislocation is too high, the metal will fail instead by the propagation of cracks and the failure will be brittle. Thus, either plastic flow (ductile failure) or crack propagation (brittle failure) will occur, depending on which process requires the smaller applied stress. In fcc metals, the flow stress, i.e. the force required to move dislocations, is not strongly temperature dependent. Therefore, dislocation movement remains high even at low temperatures and the material remains relatively ductile. In contrast to fcc metal crystals, the yield stress or critical resolved shear stress of bcc single crystals is markedly temperature dependent, in particular at low temperatures. The temperature sensitivity of the yield stress of bcc crystals has been attributed to the presence of interstitial impurities on the one hand, and to a temperature dependent Peierls-Nabarro force on the other. However, the crack propagation stress is relatively independent of temperature. Thus the mode of failure changes from plastic flow at high temperature to brittle fracture at low temperature. II. Notched-Bar Impact Test The notched-bar impact test can be used to determine whether or not a material experiences a ductile-to-brittle transition as the temperature is decreased. In such a transition, at higher temperatures the impact energy is relatively large since the fracture is

at lower temperatures the yield strength is greater and the fracture is more brittle in nature. As temperature increases. the impact energy drops over a narrow temperature range as the fracture becomes more brittle. and no specific criterion has been established. As dislocations increase in a material due to stresses above the materials yield point. This increased vibration allows the atoms under stress to slip to new places in the material ( i. If a material experiences a ductile-to-brittle transition. . we have a brittle type fracture. This decrease in slippage causes little plastic deformation before fracture. the size and shape of the specimen and the relative dimensions of the notch. temperature determines the amount of brittle or ductile fracture that can occur in a material. the atoms in the material vibrate with greater frequency and amplitude. This causes difficulties when trying to define a single transition temperature. So when the stress on the material becomes high enough. Fracture Mechanisms At higher temperatures the yield strength is lowered and the fracture is more ductile in nature.e. the exact opposite is true.ductile. which appear fibrous or dull for totally ductile fracture. When temperature decreases however. While for pure materials the transition may occur very suddenly at a particular temperature. In conclusion. it becomes increasingly difficult for the dislocations to move because they pile into each other. break bonds and form new ones with other atoms in the material). Thus. This relationship with temperature has to do with atom vibrations. for many materials the transition occurs over a range of temperatures. and granular and shiny for totally brittle fracture. On the opposite end. The transition can also be observed from the fracture surfaces. At moderate temperatures (with respect to the material) the material exhibits characteristics of both types of fracture. III. So a material that already has a high dislocation density can only deform but so much before it fractures in a brittle manner. the more brittle the fracture will be in the material. a common feature of ductile fracture. the temperature at which it occurs can be affected by the variables mentioned earlier. Over the ductile-to-brittle transition features of both types will exist. namely the strain rate. and the atoms do not want to slip to new locations in the material. The higher the dislocation density. the atoms just break their bonds and do not form new ones. Atom vibration decreases. As the temperature is lowered. Another factor that determines the amount of brittle or ductile fracture that occurs in a material is dislocation density. The idea behind this theory is that plastic deformation comes from the movement of dislocations. This slippage of atoms is seen on the outside of the material as plastic deformation.

then plastic deformation decreases. . For most brittle crystalline materials. In ductile materials (ductile fracture). A crack that passes through the grains within the material is undergoing transgranular fracture. The occurrence of brittle fracture is also associated with certain crystal structures. As the process proceeds. cracks spread very rapidly with little or no plastic deformation. and yields a relatively flat fracture surface. First. a crack that propagates along the grain boundaries is termed an intergranular fracture. dislocations have less space to move before they hit a grain boundary. which can be eliminated if a sufficiently high deformation temperature is used. Thus. The manner through which the crack propagates through the material gives great insight into the mode of fracture. the crack moves slowly and is accompanied by a large amount of plastic deformation. Another important mannerism of crack propagation is the way in which the advancing crack travels through the material. C. this is known as cleavage. these microvoids grow and begin to join together (coalesce). plastic strain causes small microvoids to form in the material. Brittle fracture Brittle fracture takes place by rapid crack propagation and very little plastic deformation. This phenomena is do to the fact that in smaller grains. The cracks that propagate in a brittle material will continue to grow and increase in magnitude once they are initiated. the fracture becomes more brittle. B. Transgranular versus Intergranular Fracture Crack initiation and propagation are essential to fracture. the material's fracture is more brittle. Cleavage is essentially a low temperature phenomenon. On both macroscopic and microscopic levels. Final failure occurs when the walls of material between the growing voids finally break. The crack will usually not extend unless an increased stress is applied. When dislocations can not move very far before fracture. most often at sites of inclusions. ductile fracture surfaces have distinct features. As grains get smaller in a material. A. Ductile fracture The propagation of a ductile crack involves substantial plastic flow and ductile fracture usually gives a characteristic rough fracture surface. Macroscopically. in particular BCC. In brittle fracture. crack propagation corresponds to the successive and repeated breaking of atomic bonds along specific crystallographic planes. ductile fracture surfaces have larger necking regions and an overall rougher appearance than a brittle fracture surface.The last factor is grain size. See the section on the ductile-to-brittle transition. However. Fracture occurs by a process known as microvoid coalescence.

the strain in the specimen returns to zero as the stress goes to zero. Below is a typical stress-strain curve for a structural mild steel specimen subjected to tensile test under normal conditions. the modulus of elasticity and the ultimate strength. in which the load and deformation are expressed in terms of stress and strain. The specimen elongation is plotted along the horizontal axis and the corresponding stresses are indicated by the ordinates of the curve 0ABCD. the elongation increases more rapidly and the diagram becomes curved. once the stress in the material exceeds the yield stress. The relationships between load and deformation of materials are usually determined by testing. Typical stress-strain curve for mild steel.IV. The strains associated with this permanent deformation are called plastic strains. The deformation of the material prior to reaching the yield point creates only elastic strains. deformation will occur. However. The value of stress at point B is called yield stress or yield strength. Tensile testing When a load is applied to a material. Yield Strength Upon loading beyond the proportional limit. This diagram will be used to explain some of the following nomenclature. a sudden elongation of the specimen takes place without significant increase in the applied load and the material has yielded. Proportional Limit In the region 0A the stress and the strain are proportional and the stress at A is the proportional limit. Stress is the internal force per unit area experienced by the material while strain is the unit change in deformation of the material. At point B. it is equal to the slope of the stress-strain relationship in the region 0A. . If upon removal of the stress (load). 1. which are fully recovered if the applied load is removed. Modulus of Elasticity The constant of proportionality in the straight-line region 0A is called the modulus of elasticity or Young’s modulus. 2. The stress-strain relationships can then be used to establish the compressive or tensile yielding strength. 3. permanent (plastic) deformation begins to occur. Geometrically. the material is said to remain perfectly elastic.

σ = Eε E is the modulus of elasticity or Young's modulus. which is the intersection of the curve with a straight line parallel to the elastic deformation and offset 0. until a maximum value is reached which is termed the ultimate tensile strength (point C). stress continues to increase with strain. The elastic deformation is temporary and is fully recovered when the load is removed. A more precise way of determining the limit is to use the stress at a strain of 0.T.002.) represents the stress necessary to generate the small amount of permanent deformation and indicates the degree of easiness which the material can be formed by rolling and drawing operations. but at a slower rate than in the elastic range. The strain at failure occurs after the specimen fractures. Yield strength and ductility Most structures are designed so that the materials used will only undergo elastic deformation. . The slope of the stress-strain curve in the elastic deformation region is the modulus of elasticity. It is the interaction point of the plastic recovery region in strain axis.T. The plastic deformation is permanent and is not recovered when the load is removed. It is therefore necessary to know the stress at which plastic deformation (yielding) begins.2% on the strain axis. It represents the stiffness of the material-resistance to elastic strain.). The increasing dislocation density makes the plastic deformation harder. even though a small portion of elastic part in the deformation is recovered. As the plastic deformation continues in the curve above the yield strength.S. the stress decreases until the specimen fractures or fails at point D. this value is known as the yield strength. Beyond point C. The point deviating between the elastic region and the plastic region is often difficult to specify in the curve. and U. The usual convention is to define the yield strength. which is called the ultimate tensile strength (U. Ultimate Tensile Strength When the material has passed through the yielding point. V. The description of Hooke's law can also be found from the slope. For metals which experience a gradual elastic-plastic transition. The yield strength (Y. which is known as Young's modulus.S. which are the elastic deformation and the plastic deformation. This is defined as total area under the stress-strain curve. The recovered portion is called the elastic recovery. This phenomenon is the strain hardening and a key factor in shaping the material by cold work. It is known as ductility. The plastic deformation produces dislocations within the region in the curve between Y. The toughness is used to describe the combination of strength and ductility.4.S. the yield stress may be taken to be the point at which the stress-strain curve is no longer linear.S. The stress-strain curve can be divided into two distinct deformation regions. A high strength alloy that is also highly brittle may not be usable as a deformable alloy with a low strength. the engineering stress reaches to a maximum point. The ductility is the percent elongation at failure and indicates that the general ability of the material to be plastically deformed. The increase in stress upon yield stress is due to material strain hardening..

Increasing the yield strength of a metal by processes such as work-hardening. H ∝ 1 d . d. They.S . VI. there needs to be a stress of t/n applied to the sample in order to cause the boundary to collapse.S. As subsequent dislocations move along the same slip plane the dislocations pile-up at the grain boundaries. so as the number of dislocations in the pile-up increases the stress on the grain boundary increases. hindering the dislocation glide along the slip planes. precipitation hardening and solid solution strengthening generally decreases the ductility. If the grain boundary in a sample gives way at a stress t. The dislocations repel each other. The effects of grain size on yield strength A change in grain size affects the yield strength due to the dislocations interacting with the grain boundary as they move.. and hardness. if there are n dislocations in the pile-up. In a larger grain there will be more dislocations within the grain. therefore. but it is found that the tensile yield strength. Y. The boundaries act as obstacles. The area under the stress-strain curve gives the fracture energy of the material.Ductility is a measure of the degree of plastic deformation which has occurred prior to fracture. by the Hall-Petch equation: Y . Accurate modeling is difficult. the stress at the grain boundary will be n times the applied stress. decrease the notched-bar impact energy since less plastic work can be done before the strain in the plastic zone is sufficient to fracture the test specimen. A ductile material has a greater fracture energy. A material that undergoes very little plastic deformation is brittle. In fact. so there will be more dislocations in the pile-up. H. Therefore a lower applied stress is required to produce a local stress great enough to cause the grain boundary to collapse. are related to grain diameter.

resulting in a cup and cone fracture surface . a variety of microstructures.pictured below. Once slip has started the stress required for further plastic deformation increases a little.VII. as there is still greater resistance to dislocation movement in the duralumin due to the precipitates. Precipitation hardening in alloys Duralumin is an aluminum alloy containing 4wt% copper. In Duralumin copper forms precipitates of CuAl2 within an aluminum matrix . This process is widely used to make strong aluminum alloys for structural purposes. . and is known as precipitation hardening. because there is far less resistance to the movement of the dislocations in pure aluminum. the duralumin specimen begins to neck. However. and hence properties can be produced. The yield stress for aluminum is about a quarter that for duralumin. due to work hardening in the material. In the alloy the precipitates hinder the motion of the dislocations and a much higher stress is required to initiate slip. as well as smaller amounts of other elements. The impurities in the material changes its properties by changing the microstructure. the pure aluminum specimen necks for longer. but then fails with a brittle fracture. and since the distribution of the copper atoms can be varied using heat treatments. These precipitates hinder the movement of dislocations and substantially strengthen the alloy. The ductility in the pure aluminum specimen is so high that the specimen only breaks once the neck has become very narrow the narrow neck allowing the load to drop to almost zero before failure occurs. In contrast.see image below.

resulting in the distinctive cup and cone profile. As the sample is extended.Recrystallization . In the annealed sample the contribution from the lattice dominates. These coalesce.Recovery .the appearance becomes more matt as the shear bands roughen the surface on a very small scale. Final failure occurs when the shear stress causes the remaining cross section to a temperature above 0.The fracture in the duralumin is initiated at microvoids. Samples that have been annealed have very different properties to those that are work hardened. and slip will continue until there is a large extension. The dislocation density is lowered slightly. allows the average grain size of the metal crystals to increase. and extensive work hardening takes place. such as impurities and grain boundaries. There are three main stages . yielding almost immediately. . and the strength. Any increase in dislocation density will have a large effect on how easily the material can be deformed. The shear stress is greatest at 45° to the applied load. VIII.3 Tm. so there is a driving force to reduce the area of grain boundaries by increasing the grain size. In addition an increase in grain size can lower the yield stress.some restoration of original properties (eg hardness. to form an internal crack. and hence forms angled walls. Stage 1 . ductility. Tm). The resistance to the movement of dislocations can be separated into a contribution from the lattice and a contribution from other obstacles.recovery. resulting in reduced ductility and increased hardness and strength. Stage 2 . B. Work hardening: The process of plastically deforming a sample by rolling or drawing the material at low temperatures (less than half the melting temperature. as the density of dislocations is low. Stage 3 . which are temperature dependent processes.holding the metal at recrystallization temperature for an extended period of time. Heat treatment of copper A. It is possible to see shear bands forming on the surface . which increases the number of dislocations and the amount that they are entangled.Grain growth . or at a higher temperature. grain shape and grain size are largely unchanged. This occurs because the grain boundaries have a higher energy than a perfect lattice.4 Tm. Slip occurs at a relatively low stress. recrystallization and grain growth. new crystals begin to grow at certain points in the deformed metal and eventually absorb the deformed crystals. with the dislocation density reduced approximately from 1015m-2 to 1010m-2. the dislocation density increases. and resistivity) is achieved by the rearrangement of dislocations at temperatures around 0. The new crystals are more equiaxed and contain far fewer dislocations than the deformed ones. Annealing is a heat treatment process that brings about a softer or more relaxed state in worked materials. to lower the overall strain energy.

recrystallization and grain growth all take place. which is why the stress required to deform the specimen continues to increase for a long time. although the difference in properties can clearly be seen between the two specimens. meaning that it takes a much larger stress for slip to begin. This means that the yield point will be much higher. However. and so the elastic region is much longer. The difference in ductility between the two specimens is apparent. Polymer stress-strain curves are produced by stretching a sample at a constant rate through the application of a tensile force. By using a constant rate of testing the strainrate dependency of polymer behavior is not allowed to dominate. so once yielding starts no further work hardening can occur. As with aluminum. Once the annealed specimen begins to yield. Polymer stress-strain curve Stress-strain curves show the response of a material to an applied (usually tensile) stress. IX. which sets their behavior apart from other classes of material. . Accurate knowledge of these parameters is paramount in engineering design. They allow important information such as a material's elastic modulus and yield stress to be determined. the tensile test graphs for the copper specimens exhibit the shape as the typical stress against strain graph. While the annealed specimen yields almost immediately.In contrast. with the annealed specimen straining to almost three times that of the work hardened. the work hardened specimen yields at a stress many times higher. so recovery. so the stress does not increase. However it should be appreciated that polymers have a marked inherent time-dependence in their response to deformation. The annealed specimen has been heat treated at 800°C for two hours. work hardening occurs. the other specimen has already been work hardened. the work hardened copper already has a high dislocation density.

polymer behavior is also temperature dependent. For example the plot below shows schematically different types of polymer stress-strain behavior. Indeed not all polymers exhibit necking and cold drawing. Polycarbonate is an example of a brittle polymer. Stress-strain curve showing the behavior of different polymers and the effect of temperature. . which occur for different types of polymers and at different relative temperatures. The exact form of the stress-strain curve depends on the polymer under investigation. The blue curve is for a glassy or semi-crystalline polymer below its glass transition temperature.Temperature dependence As well as having significant time dependence. the red curve is for a semi-crystalline polymer above its glass transition temperature and the green curve is for a rubber.

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