In the past five years, fracture mechanics has been used as a basis for the evaluation of the fracture toughness of high-strength steels and other high-strength alloys. Some of the considerations involved in the selection of plane-strain fracture toughness as the most appropriate and significant parameter for ultrahigh-strength alloy steel development are discussed in this paper.
The contribution of fracture mechanics to steel research and development is illustrated by brief reviews of three investigations: (1) a study of the relationships between microstructure and toughness in quenched and tempered low-alloy ultrahigh-strength steels, (2) an investigation of the effect of sulfur level on the fracture toughness of AISI 4345 alloy steel, and (3) a study of the influence of banding on fracture toughness anisotropy in a maraging steel.
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