Ease of preparation and testing are advantages unique to the chevron-notch specimen used for the determination of the plane strain fracture toughness of extremely brittle materials. During testing, a crack develops at the notch tip and extends stably as the load is increased. For a given specimen and notch configuration, maximum load always occurs at the same relative crack length independent of the material. Fracture toughness is determined from the maximum load with no need for crack length measurement. Chevron notch acuity is relatively unimportant since a crack is produced during specimen loading. In this paper, the authors use their previously determined stress intensity factor relationship for the chevron-notch short bar specimen to examine the performance of that specimen in determining the plane strain fracture toughness of silicon nitride and aluminum oxide.
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