Abstract: The evolution of the science of fractography of brittle materials initially was driven by failure analysis problems. Early analyses focused on general patterns of fracture and how they correlated to the loading conditions. Many early documents are simply descriptive, but the curiosity of some key scientists and engineers was aroused. Scientific or engineering explanations for the observed patterns gradually were developed. Advances in microscopy and flaw based theories of strength and fracture mechanics led to dramatic advances in the state of the art of fractographic analysis of brittle materials.
Introduction: This author was drawn backwards in time as he researched the current state of the art of fractographic analysis of brittle materials for his fractography guide book.[ ] Others have written about how the fractographic analysis of metals evolved (e.g., [ , , , ]), but there is no analogue for ceramics and glasses. The key scientists, engineers, and analysts who contributed to our field are shown in Fig. 1. Other work done by industry workers who were unable or loathe to publish is now lost, inaccessible, forgotten, or even discarded. It is the goal of this paper to review the key publications and mark the noteworthy advances in the field. Some deem fractography as the study of fracture surfaces, but this author takes a broader view. Fractography is the means and methods for characterizing fractured specimens or components and, for example, a simple examination of the fragments and how they fit together to study the overall breakage pattern is a genuine fractographic analysis.
Abstract: Using a variety of advanced ceramic materials, a comparison has been conducted of fracture toughness test methods using the single edge vee-notch beam method and the surface crack in flexure method, the latter restricted to optical fractography. Good agreement has been found between the two methods on materials which were amenable to the SCF method. It has further been shown that the SEVNB method can produce reliable results on materials to which the SCF method is not readily applicable.
Abstract: Evidence regarding a fracture event is absolutely and definitively recorded by Nature during the fracture process. That record is in the form of the general macrocrack pattern and the surface topological features of the newly formed fracture surface. In reality, it is the only perfect record of what actually occurred during a fracture. Whenever a conflict or controversy arises regarding a fracture, it is the moral and scientific responsibility of the fractographer to analyze and interpret the record of the fracture as it was created by Nature. It is further necessary for the fractographer to then inform and educate the members of the legal community (lawyer, judge and jury) as to exactly what happened during the failure. This educational process is necessary so that the legal community can collectively understand the history of the fracture and arrive at a just and fair decision regarding responsibility and potential liability for the failure. This paper describes the overall process from the beginning of the fracture examination of the failed artifact to the final appearance in court leading to a decision by the judge or a jury. Both the technical and the human factors are addressed with varying degrees of detail.
Abstract: For hot rolling wires of high-alloyed steels or superalloys tools are nowadays made of ce¬mented carbides. In service they suffer from roughening of the surfaces and severe wear, which de¬teriorates the surface quality of the wires and restricts the lifetime of the tool. Due to their high hard¬ness and good high-temperature properties, improvements in tool behaviour can be expected by the use of silicon nitride tools.
Experiments with several types of rollers were performed in commercial rolling mills. At modest and medium severe loaded positions (e.g. in the case of guidance rolls) silicon nitride rolls show superior performance to conventional steel or cemented carbide rolls. At the most severe loaded positions silicon nitride rolls were also superior to conventional rolls when rolling high strength steel wires. But for rolling superalloy wires, cracks, which limited further applications of the rolls, appeared in the roll surface profile (calibre).
Cracks in the surface of the rollers are in general caused by Hertzian contact stresses, which can reach several hundred MPa. These cracks come into existence if a limiting load is exceeded. Then small flaws can quickly extend to a length of more then one millimetre, and then they stop again (pop in behaviour). Popped in cracks can slowly extend by cyclic fatigue up to a length where breaking out of large fragments of the rollers occurs. The critical load depends on the flow curve of the rolled materials and on the design of the rolls. For the analysed design it is exceeded when rolling superalloy wires, but it is not exceeded when rolling materials having a lower flow curve.
Abstract: The phenomena occurring during rapid crack propagation in brittle single crystals were studied by cleaving silicon specimens on the low energy cleavage planes under tensile and bending. The experiments revealed new phenomena not previously reported, and new crack path instabilities in particular. The well defined boundary conditions of the tested specimens and crack velocity measurements enabled rationalization of the observed phenomena and the velocity-surface instabilities relationship in particular. In contrast to amorphous materials, the observed instabilities are generated at relatively low velocity, while at high velocity the crack path remains stable. No evidences for mirror, mist, and hackle instabilities, typical in amorphous materials, were found.
Abstract: A measuring cone made of borosilicate glass mounted in a flowmeter failed after a life¬time of only a few months. Therefore, a failure analysis was conducted which revealed that the reason for failure was a too high flow rate. The high flow rate made the float touch the upper float stop. When contacting the stop, the float started to rotate in an unstable manner and as a result was hitting and grinding along the inner cone wall which resulted in cracks, micro-chipped surface areas and grinding marks. One of the longitudinal cracks then grew subcritically till final failure occurred.
Abstract: The dental community is using a variety of ceramic restorative materials such as porcelains (leucite or alumina based), glass-ceramics (leucite, mica, lithium disilicates), alumina-glass infiltrated, and CAD-CAM ceramics including pure alumina and zirconia (3Y-TZP) core materials. Polycrystalline ceramics such as alumina and zirconia serve as substructure materials (i.e., framework or core) upon which glassy ceramics are veneered for an improved appearance. Under masticatory loads, sudden fracture of the full-thickness restoration or of the veneering ceramic (chips) may occur.
Stereomicroscope and scanning electron microscope analyses were used to perform qualitative (descriptive) fractography on clinically failed dental ceramic restorations. The most common features visible on the fracture surfaces of the glassy veneering ceramic of recovered broken parts were hackle, wake hackle, twist hackle, arrest lines, and compression curls. The observed features are indicators of the local direction of crack propagation and were used to trace the crack’s progression back to its initial starting zone (the origin).
This paper presents the applicability of fractographic failure analyses for understanding fracture processes in brittle dental restorative materials and it draws conclusions as to possible design or processing inadequacies in failed restorations.
Abstract: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) with electrical efficiencies above 50 % are considered as very promising option for future decentralized energy conversion. At the Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ) planar SOFC stacks are currently being developed and tested at 800°C and up to 10000 h using H2 and methane as fuel. Stacks in the kW class routinely reach power densities of 700 W/cm². Typically the layered material composite of the FZJ-stack consists of cells with yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte, Ni-YSZ anode and a cathode of lanthanum strontium manganite. The cells are mounted between ferritic steel interconnects. The fuel and air compartment are sealed by glass-ceramics and more recently also by metal brazes. Significant progress in reliable stack operation has been achieved over the past decade. However, problems with thermo-chemical and thermo-mechanical compatibility still remain a major challenge. To illustrate the complexity of material interactions in SOFCs, selected problems related to mechanical failure processes are presented. The role of residual stresses is addressed and fracture phenomena of cell and sealant are described in greater detail.