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Failure & Fracture

Dr. K. Devendranath Ramkumar School of Mechanical & Building Sciences

Failure is undesirable: Putting human lives in jeopardy, economic losses, affecting availability of products and services.  Physical degradation /deterioration of metal due to the application of load.  Load may be gradual, constant or increasing  The failure may occur before/during /closer to the end of its full service life  Causes: ◦ Improper materials election and processing. ◦ Inadequate design of the component. ◦ Misuse

Fundamentals of Fracture Simple fracture: Separation of body into two or more pieces in response to an imposed stress that is static (i.  Fracture modes based on ability to experience plastic deformation:  ◦ Ductile ◦ Brittle . constant or slowly changing with time) and at temperatures that are low relative to the melting temperature..e.

Ductile materials exhibit large strains and yielding before they fail. whereas for brittle materials it is nearly nonexistent. These differences are a major consideration for design. On the contrary.Cont…  The yielding region for ductile materials often takes up the majority of the stress-strain curve. brittle materials fail suddenly and without much warning .   Brittle materials often have relatively large Young's moduli and ultimate stresses in comparison to ductile materials.

Tensile Test .

(a) Highly ductile fracture (b) Moderately ductile fracture (c) Brittle fracture . In general.Cont…   For engineering materials there are only two possible modes of fracture. the main difference between brittle and ductile fracture can be attributed to the amount of plastic deformation that the material undergoes before fracture occurs. ductile and brittle.

The cracks that propagate in a brittle material will continue to grow and increase in magnitude once they are initiated. Another important mannerism of crack propagation is the way in which the advancing crack travels through the material . On the other hand.        Crack initiation and propagation are essential to fracture. In ductile materials (ductile fracture). The crack will usually not extend unless an increased stress is applied. The manner through which the crack propagates through the material gives great insight into the mode of fracture. cracks spread very rapidly with little or no plastic deformation.Cont…. the crack moves slowly and is accompanied by a large amount of plastic deformation. in dealing with brittle fracture.

resists any further extension unless there is an increase in applied stress  Cup-and-cone facture type Ductile fracture preferred due to:  Ductile fracture gives warning (due to associated plastic deformation). This allows preventive measures to be taken.  There is evidence of appreciable gross deformation at fracture surfaces (e... twining and tearing)  It proceeds relatively slowly as the crack length is extended  Crack is stable. i.  More strain energy is required to induce ductile facture (Ductile materials are tougher)  .g.e.Ductile Fracture The material exhibits substantial plastic deformation in the vicinity of an advancing crack with high-energy absorption before fracture.

Evolution of Failure in Ductile Materials particles serve as void nucleation sites. .

Stages .

 The final shearing of the specimen produces a cup type shape on one fracture surface and a cone shape on the adjacent connecting fracture surface.  This form of ductile fracture occurs in stages that initiate after necking begins. small micro voids form in the interior of the material. crack propagation is rapid along a surface that makes about a 45 angle with the tensile stress axis. deformation continues and the micro voids enlarge to form a crack.  The new fracture surface has a very irregular appearance.Cont… The failure of many ductile materials can be attributed to cup and cone fracture.  Finally.  First. hence the name  .  Next.  The crack continues to grow and it spreads laterally towards the edges of the specimen.

Cup Cone Cup and Cone Type Fracture in Ductile Material (Al) Tensile fractured samples of Duralumin .

ductile fracture surfaces also appear rough and irregular. which leads to final failure of the metal. On the microscopic level. . It occurs by the formation of micro-voids upon discontinuities in the metal such as particles or precipitates. The surface consists of many micro voids and dimples. These voids grow during deformation and eventually join up together and with the crack tip.AISI 304      Underlying mechanism of failure is Micro-void Coalescence A classic feature of ductile fracture characterized by a dimpled fracture surface.

Brittle Fracture Brittle material is termed as the material experiences little or no plastic deformation with low energy absorption. will continue spontaneously  Brittle fracture is characterized by rapid crack propagation with low energy release and without significant plastic deformation. crack is unstable.e. i. crack propagation. once started.  In this type of fracture.  The fracture may have a bright granular appearance  .. cracks may spread extremely rapid.

 Basically. there is very little plastic deformation before failure occurs  In brittle fracture. brittle fracture is a rapid run of cracks through a stressed material. the cracks run close to perpendicular to the applied stress.  Some brittle materials have lines and ridges beginning at the origin of the crack and spreading out across the crack surface  .  The cracks usually travel so fast that you can't predict when the material is about to break.  In other words.Cont… The fractures are generally of the flat type and chevron patterns may be present.

(3) Eventual crack propagation under applied stress aided by stored elastic energy. (2) Micro-crack nucleation as a result of build-up of shear stresses.  .Stages of Brittle fracture Brittle fracture in metals is believed to take place in three stages – (1) Plastic deformation that causes dislocation pile-ups at obstacles.

.Collective Information     No appreciable plastic deformation Crack propagation is very fast Crack propagates nearly perpendicular to the direction of the applied stress Crack often propagates by cleavage – breaking of atomic bonds along specific crystallographic planes (cleavage planes).

Chevron Fracture Surface Radiating Ridge Fracture Surface .

crack propagation corresponds to successive and repeated breaking of atomic bonds along specific crystallographic planes. Crack surface may have grainy or faceted texture due to changes in orientation of cleavage planes from one grain to another. Cleavage Mechanism .Brittle Fracture   Cleavage: In brittle fracture.

Cleavage is transgranular since cracks pass through the grains. Fracture surface have faceted texture because of different orientation of cleavage planes in grains However. a crack that propagates along the grain boundaries is termed an intergranular fracture. .Brittle Fracture     A crack that passes through the grains within the material is undergoing transgranular fracture. Fracture cracks pass through grains.

 First.  . this is a consequence of the spontaneous and rapid crack propagation. allowing preventive measures to be taken. ◦ Brittle fracture occurs suddenly and catastrophically without any warning.Ductile fracture is preferred more… Ductile fracture is almost always preferred for two reasons.  More strain energy is required to induce ductile fracture in as much as ductile materials are generally tougher. the presence of plastic deformation gives warning that fracture is imminent. ◦ Ductile fracture.  Second.

Comparison Ductile Brittle Deformation extensive little fast Crack propagation ice.blogspot.html . cold metals Warning Strain energy Fractured surface Necking permanent elongation higher rough yes none lower smoother no Courtesy: http://mechanical-materialstechnology. needs stress Type of materials most metals (not too cold) ceramics.


at higher temperatures the yield strength is lowered and the fracture is more ductile in nature.e. the atoms in the material vibrate with greater frequency and amplitude.Ductile to Brittle Transition The first and foremost factor is temperature.  On the opposite end. at lower temperatures the yield strength is greater and the fracture is more brittle in nature  As temperature increases. a common feature of ductile fracture  .  This slippage of atoms is seen on the outside of the material as plastic deformation.  This increased vibration allows the atoms under stress to slip to new places in the material ( i. break bonds and form new ones with other atoms in the material). Basically.

 So a material that already has a high dislocation density can only deform but so much before it fractures in a brittle manner  . The higher the dislocation density. the more brittle the fracture will be in the material.  The idea behind this theory is that plastic deformation comes from the movement of dislocations.  As dislocations increase in a material due to stresses above the materials yield point.DBTT Cont… Another factor that determines the amount of brittle or ductile fracture that occurs in a material is dislocation density. it becomes increasingly difficult for the dislocations to move because they pile into each other.

Collective Points to recall…….. .