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A simple and economical procedure for accurate determinations of toughness and lifetime parameters is described. Indentation flaws are introduced into strength test pieces, which are then taken to failure under specified stressing and environmental conditions. By controlling the size of the critical flaw, by means of the contact load, material characteristics can be represented universally on “master maps” without the need for statistical considerations.
This paper surveys both the theoretical background and the experimental methodology associated with the proposed scheme. The theory is developed for “point” flaws for dynamic and static fatigue, explicitly incorporating load into the analysis. A vital element of the fracture mechanics is the role played by residual contact stresses in driving the cracks to failure. Experimental data on a range of Vickers-indented glasses and ceramics are included to illustrate the power of the method as a means of graphic materials evaluation. It is demonstrated that basic fracture mechanics parameters can be measured directly from the slopes, intercepts, and plateaus on the master maps and that these parameters are consistent, within experimental error, with macroscopic crack growth laws.
fatigue, indentation flaw, lifetime prediction, master maps, materials evaluation, strength, toughness, universal curves, structural reliability, brittle materials
Graduate student, School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Kensington, N.S.W.
Physicist, Center for Materials Science, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.,