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Recent investigations of the effect of microstructure on the fracture mechanisms and fracture toughness of steels, aluminum alloys, and titanium alloys have used standard fractographic techniques and a sectioning technique on specimens plastically deformed to various strains up to fracture. The specimens are prepared metallographically for observation in both optical and electron beam instruments. This permits observations to be made about the fracture mechanism as it occurs in thick sections and helps remove speculation from the interpretation of fractographic features. This technique may be used in conjunction with other standard techniques such as extraction replicas and microprobe analyses. Care must be taken to make sure that the microstructural features which are observed to play a role in the fracture process using the sectioning technique can be identified with fractography.
fractography, fracture properties, crack propagation, electron microscopy, steels, aluminum alloys, titanium alloys, microscopes, metallographs
Van Stone, RH
Graduate assistant, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Metallurgist, Naval Ship Research and Development Center, Annapolis, Md.