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The quantitative measurement of the radial fractures that occur around hardness indentations in brittle materials has long been advocated as a measure of the fracture toughness. The evolution of the technique and the fundamental basis for toughness determination by indentation are described. The latest experimental results on a range of brittle materials are used to demonstrate the utility of the technique. Finally, the role of the technique, within the toughness testing repertoire, is discussed.
fracture (materials), brittle materials, crack propagation, indentation, toughness, residual stresses
University of California, Berkeley, Calif.