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10 - Fracture Mechanics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

William F. Hosford
Affiliation:
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
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Summary

Introduction

The treatment of fracture in Chapter 9 was descriptive and qualitative. In contrast, fracture mechanics provides a quantitative treatment of fracture. It allows measurements of the toughness of materials and provides a basis for predicting the loads that structures can withstand without failure. Fracture mechanics is useful in evaluating materials, in the design of structures, and in failure analysis.

Early calculations of strength for crystals predicted strengths far in excess of those measured experimentally. The development of modern fracture mechanics started when it was realized that strength calculations based on assuming perfect crystals were far too high because they ignored pre-existing flaws. Griffith reasoned that a pre-existing crack could propagate under stress only if the release of elastic energy exceeded the work required to form the new fracture surfaces. However, his theory based on energy release predicted fracture strengths that were much lower than those measured experimentally. Orowan realized that plastic work should be included in the term for the energy required to form a new fracture surface. With this correction, experiment and theory were finally brought into agreement. Irwin offered a new and entirely equivalent approach by concentrating on the stress states around the tip of a crack.

Theoretical Fracture Strength

Early estimates of the theoretical fracture strength of a crystal were made by considering the stress required to separate two planes of atoms. Figure 10.1 shows schematically how the stress might vary with separation.

Type
Chapter
Information
Solid Mechanics , pp. 143 - 160
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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References

Hertzberg, R. W., Deformation and Fracture Mechanics of Engineering Materials, 4th ed., John Wiley (1996).Google Scholar
Courtney, T. H., Mechanical Behavior of Materials, McGraw-Hill (1990).Google Scholar
Dieter, G. E., Mechanical Metallurgy, 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill (1986).Google Scholar
Dowling, N. E., Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Prentice Hall (1993).Google Scholar
Hertzberg, R. W., Deformation and Fracture Mechanics of Engineering Materials, 4th ed., John Wiley (1996).Google Scholar
Courtney, T. H., Mechanical Behavior of Materials, McGraw-Hill (1990).Google Scholar
Dieter, G. E., Mechanical Metallurgy, 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill (1986).Google Scholar
Dowling, N. E., Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Prentice Hall (1993).Google Scholar
Orowan, E., Fracture and Strength of Crystals, Rep. Prog. Phys., v. 12 (1949)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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  • Fracture Mechanics
  • William F. Hosford, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Book: Solid Mechanics
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511841422.011
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  • Fracture Mechanics
  • William F. Hosford, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Book: Solid Mechanics
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511841422.011
Available formats
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To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Fracture Mechanics
  • William F. Hosford, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Book: Solid Mechanics
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511841422.011
Available formats
×