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A physically based statistical theory of fracture for polycrystalline bulk graphite is presented. It is based on the inherent weakness of graphitic grains normal to the a–b plane and a coincidence alignment of these planes which has been found to have a dominant influence on strength. These concepts lead to a self-consistent treatment of the tensile fracture of graphite on the basis of the physical parameters of grain size, grain orientation, grain cleavage stress, porosity, fracture toughness, and specimen volume. This interpretive analytical model for the fracture of graphite provides a method for predicting the mechanical and fracture behavior of graphite as a function of its microstructure. The concepts and logic are applicable to other material systems.
fracture properties, fracturing, statistics, grain cleavage, mechanical properties, porosity, toughness, strength, strains, crack initiation, crack propagation, grain boundaries, graphite
Engineering associate, Prototype Development Associates, Inc., Santa Ana, Calif.