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Chapter 8: Mechanical Failure

How do cracks that lead to failure form?
How is fracture resistance quantified? How do the fracture
resistances of the different material classes compare?
How do we estimate the stress to fracture?
How do loading rate, loading history, and temperature
affect the failure behavior of materials?

Ship-cyclic loading Computer chip-cyclic Hip implant-cyclic

from waves. thermal loading. loading from walking.
Adapted from chapter-opening photograph, Adapted from Fig. 22.30(b), Callister 7e. Adapted from Fig. 22.26(b),
Chapter 8, Callister & Rethwisch 8e. (by (Fig. 22.30(b) is courtesy of National Callister 7e.
Neil Boenzi, The New York Times.) Semiconductor Corporation.)
Chapter 8 - 1
Chapter 8 - 2
Fracture mechanisms
Ductile fracture
Accompanied by significant plastic
Brittle fracture
Little or no plastic deformation

Chapter 8 - 3
Ductile vs Brittle Failure
Fracture Very Moderately
behavior: Ductile Ductile

Adapted from Fig. 8.1,

Callister & Rethwisch 8e.

%AR or %EL Large Moderate Small

Ductile fracture is Ductile: Brittle:
usually more desirable Warning before No
than brittle fracture! fracture warning

Chapter 8 - 4
Example: Pipe Failures
Ductile failure:
-- one piece
-- large deformation

Brittle failure:
-- many pieces
-- small deformations

Figures from V.J. Colangelo and F.A.

Heiser, Analysis of Metallurgical Failures
(2nd ed.), Fig. 4.1(a) and (b), p. 66 John
Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1987. Used with

Chapter 8 - 5
Moderately Ductile Failure
Failure Stages:
void void growth shearing
necking fracture
nucleation and coalescence at surface

Resulting 50
100 mm
particles From V.J. Colangelo and F.A. Heiser, Fracture surface of tire cord wire
serve as void Analysis of Metallurgical Failures (2nd loaded in tension. Courtesy of F.
ed.), Fig. 11.28, p. 294, John Wiley and Roehrig, CC Technologies, Dublin,
nucleation Sons, Inc., 1987. (Orig. source: P. OH. Used with permission.
sites. Thornton, J. Mater. Sci., Vol. 6, 1971, pp.
347-56.) Chapter 8 - 6
Moderately Ductile vs. Brittle Failure

cup-and-cone fracture brittle fracture

Adapted from Fig. 8.3, Callister & Rethwisch 8e.

Chapter 8 - 7
Brittle Failure
Arrows indicate point at which failure originated

Adapted from Fig. 8.5(a), Callister & Rethwisch 8e.

Chapter 8 - 8
Brittle Fracture Surfaces
Intergranular Transgranular
(between grains) 304 S. Steel (through grains)
(metal) 316 S. Steel
Reprinted w/permission (metal)
from "Metals Handbook", Reprinted w/ permission
9th ed, Fig. 633, p. 650. from "Metals Handbook",
Copyright 1985, ASM 9th ed, Fig. 650, p. 357.
International, Materials Copyright 1985, ASM
Park, OH. (Micrograph by International, Materials
J.R. Keiser and A.R. Park, OH. (Micrograph by
Olsen, Oak Ridge D.R. Diercks, Argonne
National Lab.)
160 mm
4 mm National Lab.)

Polypropylene Al Oxide
(polymer) (ceramic)
Reprinted w/ permission Reprinted w/ permission
from R.W. Hertzberg, from "Failure Analysis of
"Deformation and Brittle Materials", p. 78.
Fracture Mechanics of Copyright 1990, The
Engineering Materials", American Ceramic
(4th ed.) Fig. 7.35(d), p. Society, Westerville, OH.
303, John Wiley and (Micrograph by R.M.
Sons, Inc., 1996. Gruver and H. Kirchner.)
3 mm
1 mm
(Orig. source: K. Friedrick, Fracture 1977, Vol. Chapter 8 - 9
3, ICF4, Waterloo, CA, 1977, p. 1119.)
Ideal vs Real Materials
Stress-strain behavior (Room T):
perfect matl-no flaws
E/10 TSengineering << TS perfect
materials materials
carefully produced glass fiber

E/100 typical ceramic typical strengthened metal

typical polymer
DaVinci (500 yrs ago!) observed... Reprinted w/
permission from R.W.
-- the longer the wire, the Hertzberg,
"Deformation and
smaller the load for failure. Fracture Mechanics
of Engineering
Reasons: Materials", (4th ed.)
Fig. 7.4. John Wiley
-- flaws cause premature failure. and Sons, Inc., 1996.

-- larger samples contain longer flaws!

Chapter 8 - 10
Chapter 8 - 11
Flaws are Stress Concentrators!

Griffith Crack
1/ 2
m 2o K t o

t where
t = radius of curvature
o = applied stress
m = stress at crack tip

Adapted from Fig. 8.8(a), Callister & Rethwisch 8e.

Chapter 8 - 12
Concentration of Stress at Crack Tip

Adapted from Fig. 8.8(b),

Callister & Rethwisch 8e.

Chapter 8 - 13
Engineering Fracture Design
Avoid sharp corners!
Stress Conc. Factor, K t =
r, h
fillet 2.0 increasing w/h
Adapted from Fig. 1.5
8.2W(c), Callister 6e.
(Fig. 8.2W(c) is from G.H.
Neugebauer, Prod. Eng.
(NY), Vol. 14, pp. 82-87
1.0 r/h
0 0.5 1.0
sharper fillet radius
Chapter 8 - 14
Crack Propagation
Cracks having sharp tips propagate easier than cracks
having blunt tips
A plastic material deforms at a crack tip, which
blunts the crack.
brittle ductile

Energy balance on the crack

Elastic strain energy-
energy stored in material as it is elastically deformed
this energy is released when the crack propagates
creation of new surfaces requires energy

Chapter 8 - 15
Criterion for Crack Propagation
Crack propagates if crack-tip stress (m)
exceeds a critical stress (c)
1/ 2
2E s
i.e., m > c c
E = modulus of elasticity
s = specific surface energy
a = one half length of internal crack

For ductile materials => replace s with s + p

where p is plastic deformation energy

Chapter 8 - 16
Fracture Toughness Ranges
Metals/ Composites/
Ceramics/ Polymers
Alloys fibers
C-C(|| fibers) 1
70 Steels
60 Ti alloys
Al alloys
30 Mg alloys Based on data in Table B.5,
K Ic (MPa m0.5 )

Callister & Rethwisch 8e.

20 Composite reinforcement geometry is: f
Al/Al oxide(sf) 2 = fibers; sf = short fibers; w = whiskers;
Y2 O 3 /ZrO 2 (p) 4 p = particles. Addition data as noted
10 C/C( fibers) 1 (vol. fraction of reinforcement):
Al oxid/SiC(w) 3 1. (55vol%) ASM Handbook, Vol. 21, ASM Int.,
Diamond Si nitr/SiC(w) 5 Materials Park, OH (2001) p. 606.
7 Al oxid/ZrO 2 (p) 4 2. (55 vol%) Courtesy J. Cornie, MMC, Inc.,
6 Si carbide Glass/SiC(w) 6 Waltham, MA.
5 Al oxide PET 3. (30 vol%) P.F. Becher et al., Fracture
4 Si nitride Mechanics of Ceramics, Vol. 7, Plenum Press
PP (1986). pp. 61-73.
3 PVC 4. Courtesy CoorsTek, Golden, CO.
5. (30 vol%) S.T. Buljan et al., "Development of
2 PC Ceramic Matrix Composites for Application in
Technology for Advanced Engines Program",
ORNL/Sub/85-22011/2, ORNL, 1992.
6. (20vol%) F.D. Gace et al., Ceram. Eng. Sci.
Proc., Vol. 7 (1986) pp. 978-82.
1 <100>
Si crystal PS Glass 6
0.7 Glass -soda
0.6 Polyester
Concrete Chapter 8 - 17
Design Against Crack Growth
Crack growth condition:
K Kc = Y a
Largest, most highly stressed cracks grow first!
--Scenario 1: Max. flaw --Scenario 2: Design stress
size dictates design stress. dictates max. flaw size.

Kc 1 K c

Y amax Ydesign


fracture fracture
no no
fracture amax fracture
Chapter 8 - 18
Chapter 8 - 19
Chapter 8 - 20
Chapter 8 - 21
Design Example: Aircraft Wing
Material has KIc = 26 MPa-m0.5
Two designs to consider...
Design A Design B
--largest flaw is 9 mm --use same material
--failure stress = 112 MPa --largest flaw is 4 mm
K Ic --failure stress = ?
Use... c
Y amax
Key point: Y and KIc are the same for both designs.
= a = constant
112 MPa 9 mm 4 mm

c amax
A c amax B

Answer: ( c )B 168 MPa Chapter 8 - 22

Impact Testing
Impact loading: (Charpy)
-- severe testing case
-- makes material more brittle
-- decreases toughness
Adapted from Fig. 8.12(b),
Callister & Rethwisch 8e. (Fig.
8.12(b) is adapted from H.W.
Hayden, W.G. Moffatt, and J.
Wulff, The Structure and
Properties of Materials, Vol. III,
Mechanical Behavior, John Wiley
and Sons, Inc. (1965) p. 13.)

final height initial height

Chapter 8 - 23
Influence of Temperature on
Impact Energy

Ductile-to-Brittle Transition Temperature (DBTT)...

FCC metals (e.g., Cu, Ni)

Impact Energy

BCC metals (e.g., iron at T < 914C)

Brittle More Ductile

High strength materials ( y > E/150)

Temperature Adapted from Fig. 8.15,

Callister & Rethwisch 8e.
transition temperature

Chapter 8 - 24
Design Strategy:
Stay Above The DBTT!
Pre-WWII: The Titanic WWII: Liberty ships

Reprinted w/ permission from R.W. Hertzberg, Reprinted w/ permission from R.W. Hertzberg,
"Deformation and Fracture Mechanics of Engineering "Deformation and Fracture Mechanics of Engineering
Materials", (4th ed.) Fig. 7.1(a), p. 262, John Wiley and Materials", (4th ed.) Fig. 7.1(b), p. 262, John Wiley and
Sons, Inc., 1996. (Orig. source: Dr. Robert D. Ballard, Sons, Inc., 1996. (Orig. source: Earl R. Parker,
The Discovery of the Titanic.) "Behavior of Engineering Structures", Nat. Acad. Sci.,
Nat. Res. Council, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., NY,

Problem: Steels were used having DBTTs just below

room temperature. Chapter 8 - 25
Fatigue = failure under applied cyclic stress.
specimen compression on top Adapted from Fig. 8.18,
Callister & Rethwisch 8e.
motor (Fig. 8.18 is from Materials
bearing bearing counter
Science in Engineering, 4/E
by Carl. A. Keyser, Pearson
flex coupling Education, Inc., Upper
tension on bottom Saddle River, NJ.)

Stress varies with time.

-- key parameters are S, m, and
cycling frequency m
min time

Key points: Fatigue...

--can cause part failure, even though max < y.
--responsible for ~ 90% of mechanical engineering failures.
Chapter 8 - 26
Types of Fatigue Behavior

S = stress amplitude
Fatigue limit, Sfat: case for
--no fatigue if S < Sfat unsafe steel (typ.)

safe Adapted from Fig.

8.19(a), Callister &
Rethwisch 8e.

10 3 10 5 10 7 10 9
N = Cycles to failure

S = stress amplitude
For some materials, case for
there is no fatigue unsafe Al (typ.)
safe Adapted from Fig.
8.19(b), Callister &
Rethwisch 8e.
10 3 10 5 10 7 10 9
N = Cycles to failure
Chapter 8 - 27
Rate of Fatigue Crack Growth
Crack grows incrementally
typ. 1 to 6
~ a
increase in crack length per loading cycle
crack origin
Failed rotating shaft
-- crack grew even though
Kmax < Kc
-- crack grows faster as
increases Adapted from
Fig. 8.21, Callister &
crack gets longer Rethwisch 8e. (Fig.
loading freq. increases. 8.21 is from D.J.
Wulpi, Understanding
How Components Fail,
American Society for
Metals, Materials Park,
OH, 1985.)
Chapter 8 - 28
Improving Fatigue Life

S = stress amplitude
1. Impose compressive Adapted from
surface stresses Fig. 8.24, Callister &
Rethwisch 8e.
(to suppress surface near zero or compressive m
cracks from growing) moderate tensile m
Larger tensile m

N = Cycles to failure

--Method 1: shot peening --Method 2: carburizing

C-rich gas

2. Remove stress bad better

concentrators. Adapted from
Fig. 8.25, Callister &
bad better Rethwisch 8e.

Chapter 8 - 29
Sample deformation at a constant stress () vs. time

0 t

Primary Creep: slope (creep rate)

decreases with time.
Secondary Creep: steady-state
i.e., constant slope /t)
Adapted from
Fig. 8.28, Callister &
Tertiary Creep: slope (creep rate) Rethwisch 8e.

increases with time, i.e. acceleration of rate. Chapter 8 - 30

Creep: Temperature Dependence
Occurs at elevated temperature, T > 0.4 Tm (in K)




Adapted from Fig. 8.29,

Callister & Rethwisch 8e.

Chapter 8 - 31
Secondary Creep
Strain rate is constant at a given T,
-- strain hardening is balanced by recovery
stress exponent (material parameter)
s K 2 exp
activation energy for creep
strain rate RT (material parameter)
material const. applied stress
Adapted from
Strain rate 200 Fig. 8.31, Callister 7e.
427C (Fig. 8.31 is from Metals
Stress (MPa)

increases 100 Handbook: Properties

538C and Selection:
with increasing 40 Stainless Steels, Tool
Materials, and Special
T, 20
Purpose Metals, Vol. 3,
649C 9th ed., D. Benjamin
(Senior Ed.), American
10 Society for Metals,
1980, p. 131.)
10 -2 10 -1 1
Steady state creep rate s (%/1000hr)
Chapter 8 - 32
Creep Failure
Failure: along grain boundaries.

g.b. cavities


From V.J. Colangelo and F.A. Heiser, Analysis of

Metallurgical Failures (2nd ed.), Fig. 4.32, p. 87, John
Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1987. (Orig. source: Pergamon
Press, Inc.)

Chapter 8 - 33
Prediction of Creep Rupture Lifetime
Estimate rupture time
S-590 Iron, T = 800C, = 20,000 psi

100 Time to rupture, tr

T (20 log t r ) L

Stress (103 psi)

20 function of
10 applied stress
time to failure (rupture)

data for
S-590 Iron

12 16 20 24 28
1 (1073 K )(20 log t r ) 24 x103
103 L (K-h)
Adapted from Fig. 8.32, Callister & Rethwisch
8e. (Fig. 8.32 is from F.R. Larson and J. Ans: tr = 233 hr
Miller, Trans. ASME, 74, 765 (1952).)
Chapter 8 - 34
Estimate the rupture time for
S-590 Iron, T = 750C, = 20,000 psi

Time to rupture, tr 100

Stress (103 psi)

T (20 log t r ) L
temperature function of
applied stress 10
time to failure (rupture)
data for

(1023 K )(20 log t r ) 24 x10 3 S-590 Iron

12 16 20 24 28
103 L (K-h)
Ans: tr = 2890 hr Adapted from Fig. 8.32, Callister & Rethwisch
8e. (Fig. 8.32 is from F.R. Larson and J.
Miller, Trans. ASME, 74, 765 (1952).)
Chapter 8 - 35
Engineering materials not as strong as predicted by theory
Flaws act as stress concentrators that cause failure at
stresses lower than theoretical values.
Sharp corners produce large stress concentrations
and premature failure.
Failure type depends on T and :
-For simple fracture (noncyclic and T < 0.4Tm), failure stress
decreases with:
- increased maximum flaw size,
- decreased T,
- increased rate of loading.
- For fatigue (cyclic :
- cycles to fail decreases as increases.
- For creep (T > 0.4Tm):
- time to rupture decreases as or T increases. Chapter 8 - 36
Chapter 8 - 37