You are on page 1of 9


Impact Toughness of Metallic Materials.

Study the principles of brittle fracture in mild steels.
Understand the impact toughness of materials with different heat and strengthening
Interpret obtained experimental data for the selection of engineering materials.

Impact tests are designed to measure the resistance to failure of a material to a suddenly applied
force. The test measures the impact energy, or the energy absorbed prior to fracture. The most
common methods of measuring impact energy are the:
Charpy Test
Izod Test
In this lab session, the Charpy method was used to study about the given specimens Impact
toughness. The Charpy test is most commonly used to evaluate the relative toughness or impact
toughness of materials and as such is often used in quality control applications where it is a fast
and economical test. The test is performed by changing the test temperature of the specimen. It is
done to study and analysis the impact toughness of the specimen in various temperatures.
The test consists of breaking a mild steel specimen by one blow from the swinging pendulum of
the impact tester used in the Charpy test. It is done under conditions defined by standards, the
test piece notched in the middle and supported at
each end. The energy absorbed is determined in
joules. This absorbed energy is a measure of the
impact strength of a material.

The test bar, notched in the center, is located on two

supports. The hammer will fracture the test bar and
the absorbed energy (in Joule) is an indication for
the resistance of the material to shock loads.
(G.D Henderiec, 2005).
Clearly the difference between the two heights of
the hammer of the impact tester, multiplied by the
weight of the striker corresponds to the amount
of energy that is absorbed in fracture. Figure 1: Impact Tester (G.D Henderiec, 2005)

Three Mild steel specimens three different temperatures.
Charpy Impact Tester (Figure 1).
Heating Machine.
Cooling Machine.
V - Notch Cutter.
Centering Tool.

Figure 2: Centering Tool. Figure 3: Heating Machine.

Figure 5: Mild Steel Specimen.

Figure 4: Cooling Machine.

First all the three Mild Steel specimens were placed in the V-Notch Cutter.
Then a V shape Notch was cut on the three specimens using the V-Notch Cutter.
After that, two of the specimens were kept on the Cooling Machine and the Heating
Machine respectively under -32C and 70C temperatures while the third specimen was
kept under room temperature.
Next the specimens under each temperature were kept on the Charpy impact tester at each
time and centered using the Centering Tool.
Then the pendulum was raised up to the preparation position and locked it for each
specimen separately.
After that the scale was settled to the maximum value of the caller.
Finally the Pendulum was released and the readings was taken after the first swing of the


Table 1: Impact test results

Sample Sample Notch type Temperature Broken or Toughness Percent
No. details Unbroken reading ductility
1 Medium V -32C Broken 7.5 J 0%
2 Medium V 25C Broken 9.0 J 0% - 5%
3 Medium V 70C Broken 20.0 J 10% - 15%


Toughness of a material may change due to temperature but also depends on the structure of the
cell of a material (exp. BCC or FCC). Toughness of a material is a necessary measurement
industrially since it is useful in selecting a specific material for a specific purpose in an
engineering design. If some material absorbs more energy in an impact it shows that it is more
suitable to be use in the structural construction that expose to high load for example: car body.
Main conclusions from this report are,
Temperature can change the behavior of steel from brittle to ductile with the addition of
heat or from ductile to brittle with the removal of heat.
The amount of energy required to break a ductile material is greater than for brittle


Nickell Aktarian and Andrew Berry (2009) Impact Testing, USA.

G.D Henderiec (2005) CHARPY TEST, Netherlands.

Udomphol T. (2001) Impact testing, Birmingham.