A History of the Fractography of Brittle Materials

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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.

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J. Dusza, R. Danzer, R. Morrell and G.D. Quinn

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G. D. Quinn, "A History of the Fractography of Brittle Materials", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 409, pp. 1-16, 2009

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