Micromechanisms and Toughness for Cleavage Fracture of Steel,
BATTELLE MEMORIAL INST COLUMBUS OH
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A complete understanding of the fracture mechanisms of steel in the ductilebrittle transition region requires analysis not only of crack initiation, but also of crack propagation. This paper reviews micrographic and fractographic experiments that give insight into both phenomena, and suggests a frame-work through which both may be related. Unstable cleavage crack initiation can occur after some blunting of the original fatigue precrack or after some stable crack growth. In either event, instability appears to be triggered by the fracture of a brittle micro-constituent ahead of the precrack. The large scatter in reported KIc values within the transition region reflects the size distribution and relative scarcity of these trigger particles. While a large number of models have attempted to correlate toughness in the ductilebrittle transition regime to events occurring ahead of the crack tip, surprisingly little attention has been paid to events occurring behind the crack front. Fractographic evidence as well as metallographic sectioning of arrested cracks show that the mechanism of rapid crack propagation by cleavage is affected strongly by partial crack-plane deflection which leaves unbroken ligaments in its wake. The tearing of these ligaments by dimple-rupture is the dominant energy-absorbing mechanism. Etch-pit experiments using an Fe-Si alloy show that the crack-tip stress intensity based on plastic zone size is extremely low. Keywords HSLAHigh Strength Low Alloy, Ductile fracture, Shear fracture, Fracture toughness.
- Metallurgy and Metallography
- Solid State Physics