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# CHAPTER 8 FAILURE Page 1/13

CLOSED-BOOK PRACTICE
CHAPTER 8: FAILURE
CONCEPT CHECK
1. Cite two situations in which the possibility of failure is part of the design of a component or product.
Ans:
Several situations in which the possibility of failure is part of the design of a component or product are as
follows:
(1) the pull tab on the top of aluminum beverage cans;
(2) aluminum utility/light poles that reside along freewaysa minimum of damage occurs to a vehicle
when it collides with the pole; and
(3) in some machinery components, a shear pin is used to connect a gear or pulley to a shaftthe pin is
designed to shear off either the shaft or gear before damage is done in an overload situation.
2. Make a schematic sketch of a stress vs. time plot for the situation when the stress ratio R has a value of 1.
Ans:
min
For a stress ratio (R) of 1, then from Eq. 8.17: R and R 1 , we have: max min . This is to say
max
that the stress remains constant (or does not fluctuate) with time, or the stress-versus-time plot would appear
as:

3. Using Eqs. 8.16 and 8.17, demonstrate that increasing the value of the stress ratio R produces a decrease in
stress amplitude a .
Ans:
min min
From Eq. 8.17: R , we have: min R max . Furthermore, from Eq. 8.16: a max .
max 2
max R max max
Substitution of min from the former expression into the latter gives: a 1 R .
2 2
Therefore, as the magnitude of R increases (or becomes more positive) the magnitude of the stress
amplitude a decreases.

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4. Surfaces for some steel specimens that have failed by fatigue have a bright crystalline or grainy appearance.
Laymen may explain the failure by saying that the metal crystallized while in service. Offer a criticism for
this explanation.
Ans:
To crystallize means to become crystalline. Thus, the statement "The metal fractured because it crystallized"
is erroneous inasmuch as the metal was crystalline prior to being stressed (virtually all metals are
crystalline).
5. Superimpose on the same strain-versus-time plot schematic creep curves for both constant tensile stress and
constant tensile load, and explain the differences in behavior.
Ans:
Schematic creep curves at both constant stress and constant load are shown below. With increasing time, the
constant load curve becomes progressively higher than the constant stress curve. Since these tests are tensile
ones, the cross-sectional area diminishes as deformation progresses. Thus, in order to maintain a constant
stress, the applied load must correspondingly be diminished since stress load area .

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## QUESTIONS & PROBLEMS

Fracture
A typical stress-strain curve of a 1020 plain-carbon mild steel in tension
is shown at right. If the specimen has a circular cross-section, draw
pictures for possible fracture surfaces of the specimen at the point
indicated by the symbol, . What is the physical interpretation for
forming the fracture surface.
Ans:
The - curve implies the material is ductile, which will fracture to form
a cup-and-cone crack surface, as shown below. The physics behind the
formation of such a fracture surface arises from the following process:
(a) Initial necking
(b) Small cavity formation
(c) Coalescence of cavities to form a crack
(d) Crack propagation
(e) Final shear fracture at a 45 angle relative to the tensile direction to
form the cup-and-cone fracture surface

Describe the fracture process of forming typical cup-and-cone crack surfaces in tensile tests of ductile
metals. Graphical illustration of the progressive fracture process may be helpful.
Ans:
Stages in the cup-and-cone fracture:
(a) Initial necking
(b) Small cavity formation
(c) Coalescence of cavities to form a crack
(d) Crack propagation
(e) Final shear fracture at a 45 angle relative to
the tensile direction to form the cup-and-cone
fracture surface

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The figure at right shows a cylindrical bar fractured by a tensile load, which was applied
vertically. The fractured surface can be classified into two parts: center and edge.
(a) Is the fracture ductile or brittle? What is the common name to call this type of
fractured surface?
(b) With respect to the loading direction, what are the fracture directions at the center and
edge parts, respectively? Explain why.
Ans:
(a) This is ductile fracture, whose fractured surfaces are commonly called cup-and-cone.
(b) The center-part of fractured surfaces orient horizontally; that is, they are
by the coalescence of cavities (microvoids), then propagated normal to
the maximum principal direction, which coincides with the tensile
the edge failed by maximum shear due to excessive plastic deformation.
The maximum shear direction makes 45 with respect to the maximum
principal direction (i.e., the vertical direction). Refer to the figure at right
for illustration.

Sketch the three modes of fracture. Identify them with their commonly used name(s). Under which type of
loading each fracture mode is mainly caused? Does any of the fracture modes tend to be unstable to
maintain its propagation direction during further crack extension? If so, explain the reason why.
Ans:
The three modes of fracture are shown schematically at right:
(a): Mode I (or opening mode) fracture. It is mainly caused by
tension.
(b): Mode II (or sliding mode) fracture. It is mainly caused by
in-plane shear.
(c): Mode III (or tearing mode) fracture. It is mainly caused by
out-of-plane (also called antiplane) shear or torsion/twisting.
Cases (b) & (c): Modes II & III fractures are unstable for
maintaining their crack extension directions since the directions of
maximum principal stresses near the crack tips are NOT
perpendicular to the crack extension directions.

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The schematic cross-sections shown below show the paths of typical transgranular and intergranular crack
propagations in a metal.
(a) Under what condition(s) will the crack propagate transgranularly or intergranularly?
(b) Will you classify the fractures brittle or ductile? Why?
(c) If the crack propagations are caused by a uniaxial tension, show schematically on the graph the
directions of the applied loads. Explain why.

## Transgranular crack propagation Intergranular crack propagation

Ans:
(a) Transgranular crack propagation occurs when the grain boundaries are strong so that their fracture
toughnesses are higher than those of the grains themselves, forcing the crack to grow through the grains
and thus, resulting in a fairly smooth looking fracture with less sharp edges whereas intergranular crack
propagation occurs when the grain boundaries are weakened (e.g., due to hydrogen embrittlement) so
that their fracture toughnesses are lower than those of the grains themselves.
(b) Both intergranular and transgranular crack propagations are brittle fracture. Ductile fracture is
characterized by a cup-and-cone fracture surface.
(c) As shown in the figures, both loading directions are vertical since the paths of both transgranular and
intergranular crack propagations are perpendicular to the 1st principal direction, which is the same as the

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The figures below show three cracked plates, which are made of the same materials and are subject to the
same applied load appl. Determine which cracked plate is the weakest in resisting further crack propagation.
Explain why.
Ans:
Case (b) is the weakest cracked plate in
appl appl appl
resisting further crack propagation since its
edge is free and does NOT provide lateral
constraint to hinder crack propagation.

Fixed Edge
Free Edge
2a a a

Fixed Edge
Free Edge
appl appl appl
(a) (b) (c)
The figure at right shows a cracked plate with an edge crack of length a. If the plate can be
made of either of the following two materials when subject to the same applied load appl . appl
(a) What is role of crack on the local stress level surrounding the crack tip?
(b) Determine which material should be selected in order to prevent further crack
propagation. Explain why.

Free Edge
Youngs modulus Yield strength Fracture strength
Material yield (MPa) fracture (MPa)
E (GPa)
A 200 300 600 a

Free Edge
B 200 900 600
Ans:
(a) The crack acts as a stress riser of the loaded plate. That is, there will be a high stress
concentration around the crack tip. As a matter of fact, for a linear elastic material, the
local stress level can reach infinity.
(b) Material A will be a better choice. Since yield,A fracture,A Material A is ductile and appl
there will be substantial plastic deformation with high energy absorption ahead of the crack tip to
prevent fracture. On the other hand, since yield,B fracture,B B is a brittle material, which lacks
appreciable plastic deformation in front of an advancing crack; having a lower fracture toughness K Ic
and being vulnerable to catastrophic failure (i.e., fracture).

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## Impact Toughness Testing

What are impact tests? What are the most common impact tests and the specimen used?
Ans:
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 and the Izod test, both involving the use of V-notched bar
specimens with a rectangular cross-section.
What is impact energy? Describe the process of energy absorption/dissipation in a ductile metallic specimen
during impact. Which type of materials (brittle vs ductile) tends to be tougher? Explain why. Finally,
compare the ISO vs ASTM standards of impact strengths.
Ans:
Impact energy is a measure of the work done to fracture a test specimen under the afore-mentioned suddenly
applied force.
When the striker impacts the specimen, the specimen will absorb energy until it yields. At this point, the
specimen will begin to undergo plastic deformation at the V-notch. The test specimen continues to absorb
energy and work hardens at the plastic zone at the notch. When the specimen can absorb no more energy,
fracture occurs. Brittle materials generally have lower impact strengths, while those registering higher
impact strengths tend to be tougher since the capability of a ductile material to undergo plastic deformation
implies a higher impact energy is needed to fracture the specimen.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ASTM (American Society for Testing and
Materials) standards express impact strengths in different units. ISO standards report impact strengths in
kJ/m, where the impact energy is divided by the cross sectional area at the notch. ASTM standards call for
values to be reported in J/m, where the impact energy is divided by the length of the notch.
(a) Describe the principles of Charpy and Izod tests, especially explaining how
the impact energy of a material is determined by the test results.
(b) Based on the loading and support conditions, which structural problems in
ME 33000: Mechanics of Materials are similar to the Charpy and Izod tests.
Explain how
Ans:
(a) The Charpy V-notch (CVN) and Izod tests are used to measure impact
energy (also called notch toughness). The square cross-sectional bar
specimen with a V-notch is positioned at the base of the apparatus. The load
is applied as an impact blow from a pendulum hammer (total weight: W)
that is released from a height h, causing the specimen to fracture at the V-
notch. The pendulum continues its swing to reach a maximum height h .
From the Law of Energy Conservation, the impact energy J is measured as:
J W h h .
(b) For the Charpy test, since the loading is at the center of the length span of the specimen and the supports
are at the two specimen ends, the Charpy test is similar to a simply-supported beam with a central force
(i.e., 3-point bending). On the other hand, for the Izod test, since the loading is at one end of the
specimen and the support is at the other end, the Izod test is similar to a cantilever beam with an end
force.

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## What are the factors affecting impact energy?

Ans:
Factors that affect the impact energy of a specimen will include:
(a) Yield strength and ductility. For a given material the impact energy will be seen to decrease if the yield
strength is increased, i.e. if the material undergoes some process that makes it more brittle and less able
to undergo plastic deformation. Such processes may include cold working or precipitation hardening.
(b) Notches. The notch serves as a stress concentration zone and some materials are more sensitive towards
notches than others. The notch depth and tip radius are therefore very important.
(c) Temperature and strain rate. Most of the impact energy is absorbed by means of plastic deformation
during the yielding of the specimen. Therefore, factors that affect the yield behavior and hence ductility
of the material such as temperature and strain rate will affect the impact energy. This type of behavior is
more prominent in materials with a body centered cubic structure, where lowering the temperature
reduces ductility more markedly than face centered cubic materials.
(d) Fracture mechanism. Metals tend to fail by one of two mechanisms, microvoid coalescence or cleavage.
Cleavage can occur in body centered cubic materials, where cleavage takes place along the {001} crystal
plane. Microvoid coalescence is the more common fracture mechanism where voids form as strain
increases, and these voids eventually join together and failure occurs. Of the two fracture mechanisms
cleavage involved far less plastic deformation ad hence absorbs far less fracture energy.
(e) Ductile to brittle transition. Some materials such as carbon steels undergo what is known as a ductile to
brittle transition. This behavior is obvious when impact energy is plotted as a function of temperature.
The resultant curve will show a rapid dropping off of impact energy as the temperature decreases. If the
impact energy drops off very sharply, a transition temperature can be determined. This is often a good
indicator of the minimum recommended service temperature for a material.
The figure at right shows schematically the impact 100
energy vs. temperature relations of three metals. Metal B
80
Determine the crystal structure (e.g., BCC, FCC,
Impact Energy(J)

## HCP, etc.) of each metal. Explain why from the 60 Metal A

dislocation-motion point of view.
Ans: 40
Metal C
Metal A is BCC (e.g., plain low-carbon steel), which
20
changes from ductile to brittle at very low temperature
due to the drastic reduction of the available slip 0
systems for dislocation motion; thus limiting plastic 150 125 100 75 50 25 0 25 50
Test Temperature (oC)
deformation.
Metal B is FCC (e.g., aluminum), which even at cryogenic temperature maintains the available slip systems
and remains ductile.
Metal C is HCP (e.g., zinc), which is brittle due to its limited number of available slip systems for
dislocation motion over the entire temperature range shown in the figure.

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Which of the two materials: aluminum and plain low-carbon steel will be better off for use as a cryogenic
(i.e., very low temperature) container when it drops to the ground suddenly from a fast moving truck?
Explain from the point of view of slip system/dislocation-motion.
Ans:
To avoid fracture of the container caused by impact, aluminum will be the better choice. Although in
general plain low-carbon steel is stronger than aluminum at room temperature, the BCC steel becomes
brittle at cryogenic temperature while the FCC aluminum remains ductile. The change of BCC from ductile
to brittle at very low temperature is due to the drastic reduction of the available slip systems for dislocation
motion; thus limiting plastic deformation. Hence fracture becomes the only viable mechanism to dissipate
excessive strain energy absorbed during impact.
Following are tabulated data that were gathered from a series of Charpy impact tests on a tempered 4140
steel alloy. Plot the data as impact energy vs. temperature. Estimate the nil-ductile temperature (a.k.a.
ductile-to-brittle transition temperature), if exists, of this material. Justify your reason.
Test Temperature (C) 150 125 100 75 50 25 0 25 50
Impact Energy (J) 25 25 30 40 60 80 95 100 100
Ans:
The plot of impact energy versus temperature is shown below. The nil-ductile temperature is estimated
around 50C.
100

80
Impact Energy(J)

60

40

20

0
150 125 100 75 50 25 0 25 50
Test Temperature (oC)

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Fatigue/Cyclic Stresses
List four measures that may be taken to increase the resistance to fatigue of a metal alloy.
Ans:
Four measures that may be taken to increase the resistance to fatigue of a metal alloy are:
(1) Polish the surface to remove stress amplification sites.
(2) Harden the outer surface of the structure by case hardening (carburizing, nitriding) or shot peening.
(3) Modify the design to eliminate notches and sudden contour changes.
(4) Reduce the number of internal defects (pores, etc.) by means of altering processing and fabrication
techniques.
Will the following processes enhance or shorten the fatigue life of a metal: (a) case hardening, (b) shot
peening and (c) surface polishing?
Ans:
(a) Case hardening is a technique by which both surface hardness and fatigue life of a metal are enhanced.
The introduced carbon- or nitrogen-rich outer surface layer (or case) increases hardness within the
case and forms the desired residual compressive stresses, which improves fatigue resistance.
(b) The fatigue life of a metal can be enhanced significantly by a shot-peening process, which causes plastic
deformation and induces compressive stresses within a shallow depth underneath the shot diameter. The
residual compressive stresses within the thin outer surface layer will partially nullify the surface tensile
stress of external origin. The net effect is that the likelihood of crack formation and therefore of fatigue
failure is reduced. In addition, shot peening will also polish and eliminate surface imperfections, thus
suppressing potential fatigue crack initiation.
(c) It has been observed that fatigue life of a metal can be enhanced significantly by improving the surface
finish through polishing. During machining operations, small scratches and grooves are invariably
introduced into the workpiece surface by cutting tool action. These surface markings can limit the
fatigue life. Eliminating these surface markings by surface polishing thus enhance the fatigue life of a
metal.
The figure at right shows schematically the S-N fatigue curves of a
metal: one under normal condition and the other after shot peening.
Identify the curves and explain why.
Ans:
As illustrated, the higher curve is shot peened while the lower is normal.
This is due to the fact that the fatigue life of a metal can be enhanced
significantly by a shot-peening process, which causes plastic
deformation and induces compressive stresses within a shallow depth
underneath the shot diameter. The residual compressive stresses within
the thin outer surface layer will partially nullify the surface tensile stress
of external origin. The net effect is that the likelihood of crack
formation and therefore of fatigue failure is reduced. In addition, shot peening will also polish and eliminate
surface imperfections, thus suppressing potential fatigue crack initiation.

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## A cylindrical 1045 steel bar is subject to repeated

compression-tension stress cycling along its axis.
Considering a factor of safety N of 3, If the allowable load
amplitude Fallowable is 22 kN, compute the minimum
allowable bar diameter to ensure that fatigue failure will not
occur. Use the attached S-N curve of 1045 steel at right.
Ans:
Based on the attached figure, the fatigue limit stress
amplitude for 1045 steel is 310 MPa.
F F N
max allowable (Note: Fmax Fallowable N )
A A
F N 22 kN 3
A allowable 2.13 104 m2 213 mm2
310 MPa
d2 4A 4 213 mm2
A d 16.47 mm
4
Creep
Cite three metallurgical/processing techniques that are employed to enhance the creep resistance of metal
alloys.
Ans:
Three metallurgical/processing techniques that are employed to enhance the creep resistance of metal alloys
are:
(1) solid solution alloying,
(2) dispersion strengthening by using an insoluble second phase, and
(3) increasing the grain size or producing a grain structure with a preferred orientation.
(a) The figure on the right shows curves of
creep strain vs. time behaviors of a
metal at three temperatures:
T3 T2 T1 . Mark on the graph to
indicate which curves correspond to
T1 , T2 and T3 , respectively. Explain
why.
(b) At what temperature below which the
creep behavior is NOT significant.
Sol:
(a) With an increase in temperature, the
following will be noted: (1) the
instantaneous strain at the time of
stress application increases, (2) the steady-state creep rate increases, and (3) the rupture lifetime
decreases. Hence, the curves correspond to T1 , T2 and T3 are indicated in the figure above.
(b) Below 0.4Tm , where Tm is the melting temperature, the creep behavior can be ignored.
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## The figure at right shows a typical curve of creep strain vs.

time behavior of a hypothetical metal. Here the symbol
represents rupture. Mark on the graph to indicate the
followings:
(a) time to rupture or rupture lifetime, t r
(b) primary or transient creep
(c) instantaneous deformation
(d) tertiary creep
Sol:
See the attached figure.

Consider the creep characteristics of a metal. Assume the applied stress level is increased.
(1) Will the instantaneous strain at the time of stress application increase, decrease, or remain the same?
Explain why.
(2) Will the steady-state creep rate s increase, decrease, or remain the same? Explain why.
(3) Will the rupture lifetime increase, decrease, or remain the same? Explain why.
Ans:
(1) Since the applied stress level is increased and the Youngs modulus (i.e., the elastic stiffness) at the
time of stress application remains the same, the instantaneous strain will increase.
(2) As implied by Eq. (8.24), p. 283: s K1 n , the steady-state creep rate s will increase as the applied
stress level is increased.
(3) As shown in Fig. 8.29, p. 283, if the instantaneous strain and the steady-state creep rate s are increased,
the time for the creep strain to reach rupture level, i.e., the rupture lifetime will decrease.
The table below shows the melting temperature Tm of six metals. If these metals are to be used at room
temperature (25C), determine for which metal(s) creep should be a concern. Explain why.
Metal Chromium (Cr) Gold (Au) Iron (Fe) Molybdenum (Mo) Tin (Sn) Zinc (Zn)
Tm (C) 1,875 1,064 1,538 2,617 232 420

Ans:
Creep will be a concern if the working temperature To is higher than 0.4Tm . In order to operate at room
temperature: To 25C 25 273 K 298K and not worrying about creep, the corresponding melting
T0 298K
temperature must be higher than: Tm 745K= 745 273 C 472C . Hence creep should
0.4 0.4
be a concern for both Tin (Sn) and Zinc (Zn).

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FUNDAMENTALS OF ENGINEERING
A brittle material typically exhibits substantial plastic deformation with high energy absorption before
fracture.
(A) True
(B) False
Ans: False. A brittle material exhibits little or no plastic deformation with low energy absorption before
fracture.
Which kind of fracture is associated with the intergranular crack propagation mechanism?
(A) Ductile
(B) Brittle
(C) Either ductile or brittle
Ans: B. Intergranular fractures are brittle in nature, and crack propagation is along grain boundaries.
If either stress or temperature is increased, which of the following combinations of effects will result?
(A) The steady-state creep rate decreases, the instantaneous strain at the time of stress application decreases,