Fracture Toughness Testing of Polyethylene Pipe Materials

    Published: Jan 1988

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    Multiple-specimen J-integral tests, which are defined in the ASTM Test for JIc, A Measure of Fracture Toughness (E 813-81), have been conducted on side-grooved compact tension specimens of medium- and high-density polyethylene. The specimens were precracked with a razor blade, as has been common practice to date, or were fatigue precracked. Tests were performed over a 50 range of crosshead rates in the quasi-static regime. Results indicated that the razor notching gives a J-R curve which is significantly higher than that obtained using fatigue precracked specimens. A significant variation in the J-R curve was noted for changes in the displacement rate due to the viscoelastic character of the polyethylene. The orientation of the specimens, which were cut from actual pipe, was found to have a significant effect on the fracture toughness. The fracture toughness results were correlated with fractographic results, and the behavior of side-grooved and non-side-grooved specimens was compared.


    polyethylene, fracture, compact tension test, fatigue, fracture mechanics, nonlinear fracture mechanics

    Author Information:

    Jones, RE
    Mechanical engineer and professor, Texas A & M University, College,

    Bradley, WL
    Mechanical engineer and professor, Texas A & M University, College,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.08

    DOI: 10.1520/STP26788S

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