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Steel alloys exhibit a variety of fracture mechanisms depending upon their composition, heat treatment, degree of cold working, and environmental and stress conditions. Determination of the operative mechanisms from fractographic features requires that comparisons be made between observed features and those which are characteristic of cleavage, ductile rupture, or intergranular or hydrogen embrittlement. In most cases this involves generating controlled laboratory fractures under conditions which will produce each type individually. In addition, a correlation of microstructural and fractographic features must be obtained to characterize these different mechanisms. Illustrations of these two important aspects of fractographic analyses will be presented for fracture processes occurring in drawn cup walls of low carbon sheet steel and in bending tests of a quenched and tempered plate steel.
fractography, steels, microstructure, scanning electron microscopy, fracture mechanisms, cleavage, intergranular, ductile rupture, hydrogen embrittlement, drawing steel, quenched and tempered steel, plate steel, quasicleavage
Research metallurgist, Research and Technology, Armco Steel Corporation, Research Center, Middletown, Ohio
senior research metallurgist, Armco Steel Corporation, Research Center, Middletown, Ohio