SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1965

Fracture Toughness Testing at Alcoa Research Laboratories


At Alcoa Research Laboratories, fracture toughness determinations are made on commercial and promising experimental alloys and tempers with center-cracked specimens, single- and double-edge-notched specimens, and notched round specimens. Compliance techniques are usually used to detect the initiation of unstable crack growth. Kahn-type tear tests and sharp-notch tension tests are used as screening tests to supplement fracture toughness testing in the evaluation of the effects of composition, fabrication procedure, temper, and environment on the fracture characteristics of aluminum alloys. Tear tests have the advantage that direct measures of the relative amounts of energy required to propagate a crack can be obtained even for the toughest of aluminum alloys; furthermore, the unit propagation energy from the tear test is directly correlated with the valid values of Kc and KIc. Sharp-notch tension tests are economical and, particularly when general yielding is not obtained, the ratio of notch strength to yield strength provides a meaningful measure of relative toughness. Specific examples are given of instances in which these techniques have been used to: (1) determine which series of aluminum alloys shows the most promise for the development of high-toughness alloys; (2) establish optimum compositions and fabricating procedures for specific alloys; (3) develop optimum tempers; and (4) indicate the outstanding alloys for cryogenic applications.

Author Information

Kaufman, JG
Alcoa Research Laboratories, New Kensington, Pa.
Hunsicker, HY
Alcoa Research Laboratories, New Kensington, Pa.
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 290–308
DOI: 10.1520/STP26595S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4569-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0105-0