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Analyzing Ductile and Brittle Failure – Vander Voort

From macroscopic standpoint, a ductile failure exhibits the following characteristics
A large amount of plastic deformation precedes the fracture
Shear lips may be present
The fracture may appear to be fibrous, or have a matte or silky texture
The cross section at the fracture may be reduced by necking
Crack growth will be slow
From macroscopic standpoint, brittle fractures are characterized following
Little or no plastic deformation precedes the fracture
The fracture is generally flat and perpendicular to the surface of the component
The fracture may appear granular or crystalline, and is often highly reflective to light
Herringbone, or chevron, patterns may be present
Crack lengthen rapidly, often with a loud noise
The apexes of the chevron point back toward the origin of the fracture
From microscopic standpoint, the brittle fracture is characterized by transgranular cleave,
intergranular fracture path, and river marks or tongues
Factors affecting the toughness and ductility of a material are: the stress system, notch
sensitivity, size, design, workmanship, and enviornment effects.
Also of concern are material variables, including chemical composition, grain size,
cleanliness, anisotrophy, processing problem, and embrittlement phenomena
Influence of a stress raiser, or concentrator, is much greater for a brittle material than for a
ductile material
Aluminium and Silicon when used as deoxidizer to promote fine grain size also improve
Silicon in excess of that required for fine grain size lower the toughness
Careful control of the oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorous contents is also important to

slag control. steel exhibits the highest when the test sample is oriented parallel to the hotworking direction. and choice of deoxidation process and level of addition. or foreign material In general. It also important to maintain clean moulds and ladles. and avoid or minimize entrapment of slag. upper bainite generally has poor toughness. control of residual impurity elements through scrap control. . Toughness is lowest when specimen is oriented in the short transverse (through-thickness) Due to unfavorable carbide morphology.prevent loss of toughness Toughness is raised by refining the grain size of steel – ferrite or prior austenite grain size Steel cleanliness is important in obtaining good toughness. degassing. Cleanliness depends on choice of melting procedure. scum. or special melting techniques such as electron slag or vacuum arc re-melting (ESR or VAR). minimize erosion of refractories. Lower bainite exhibits better toughness as the isothermal transformation temperature decreases.