You are on page 1of 16


Failure Mechanisms
FRACTURE. Separation of a body into two or
more parts due to an imposed static stress.

FATIGUE. Form of failure in structures subjected
to dynamic and fluctuation stress.

CREEP. Time dependent and permanent
deformation of materials subjected to a constant
load or stress
Applied stresses can be tensile, compressive,
shear or combination of these.
There are two fracture modes depending on
the ability to experience plastic deformation:
a) Ductile
b) Brittle
Involves two steps:
- Crack formation
- Crack propagation
Ductile Fracture
Exhibit substancial plastic deformation with high energy
absorption before fracture.
Controlled by purity of the materials.
Cup and cone fracture
Ductile Fracture: Fractography
Fig. 1 a SEM showing espherical dimples Fig. 1 b SEM dimples from shear loading
Brittle Fracture
Exhibits low or no plastic deformation with
low energy absorption.
Brittle Fracture
Takes place without any appreciable deformation and by
rapid crack propagation.

Direction of crack motion is nearly perpendicular to the
direction of the applied tensile stress.

Signs of gross plastic deformation are absent.

Distinctive V- shaped ``Chevron markings near center of
the fracture cross section.

Brittle fracture in amorphous materials such as ceramic
glasses yields a relatively shiny and smooth surface
Brittle Fracture
Transgranular Fracture
Cleavage: Succesive an repeated breakaing of atomic bonds
along specific crystalographic planes.
Intergranular Fracture
Fracture Mechanics
Allows quantification of the relationships
between material properties, stress, level,
the presence of crack-producing flaws, and
crack propagation mechanism.
Stress Concentration
The fracture strengths for most materials are
signifficant lower than those predicted by theoretical
calculations based on atomic bonding energies due to
flaws (stress risers).
Maximum Stress at Crack Tip

maximum stress at the crack tip

nominal applied tensile stress

radius of curvature of the crack tip
a length of a surface crack

Stress Concentration Factor (Kt)
Ductile vs Brittle
The stress amplification is not restricted to
microscopic defects (voids, inclusions, sharp corners,
scratches etc.
More signifficant in brittle than in ductile materials.
In ductile material, plastic deformation leads to
more uniform distribution of stress in the vecinity of
the stress riser.
In brittle materials the theoretical stress
concentration will result.
Critical Stress for a Brittle material
E = Modulus of elasticity
s= Specific surface energy
a= One half the length of an internal crack