Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 379–386

Determination of dynamic fracture-initiation toughness using three-point bending tests in a modified Hopkinson pressure bar


  • L. Rubio
    • Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarlos III University of Madrid
  • J. Fernández-Sáez
    • Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarlos III University of Madrid
  • C. Navarro
    • Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarlos III University of Madrid

DOI: 10.1007/BF02411342

Cite this article as:
Rubio, L., Fernández-Sáez, J. & Navarro, C. Experimental Mechanics (2003) 43: 379. doi:10.1007/BF02411342


We present a procedure for measuring the dynamic fracture-initiation toughness of materials. The method is based on three-point bending tests at high loading rates, performed in an experimental device which is a modification of the classical split Hopkinson pressure bar. Coupled with the loading device, a high-speed photography system was used to measure the crack mouth opening displacement (CMOD) directly on the specimen. The stress intensity factor was calculated by three different simplified methods and the time to fracture was obtained from an appropriate specimen instrumentation. To evaluate the results derived from the simplified methods, a two-dimensional full-numerical analysis of the dynamic bending fracture test was made. The model includes the specimen, the input bar, the impacting projectile and the supporting device and takes into account the possible loss of contact during the experiment between the input bar and the specimen and between the specimen and its supports. From the tests and numerical results, it can be concluded that the CMOD procedure, together with the knowledge of the time to fracture determined using crack gages, seems to be the best method for measuring dynamic fracture-initiation toughness.

Key Words

Dynamic bending teststress intensity factornumerical analysishigh strain rates

Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics 2003