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.
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