Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 401–407 | Cite as

An experimental method for determining dynamic fracture toughness

  • C. H. Popelar
  • C. E. AndersonJr.
  • A. Nagy


The boundary and loading conditions in many dynamic fracture test methods are frequently not well defined and, therefore, introduce a degree of uncertainty in the modeling of the experiment to extract the dynamic fracture resistance for a rapidly propagating crack. A new dynamic fracture test method is presented that overcomes many of these difficulties. In this test, a precracked, three-point bend specimen is loaded by a transmitter bar that is impacted by a striker bar fired from a gas gun. Different levels of energy can be imparted to the specimen by varying the speed and length of the striker to induce different crack growth rates in the material. The specimen is instrumented with a crack ladder gage, crack-opening displacement gage and strain gages to develop requisite data to determine toughness. Typical data for AISI 4340 steel specimen are presented. A simple quasi-dynamic analysis model for deducing the fracture toughness for a running crack from these data is presented, and the results are compared with independent measurements.

Key Words

Dynamic crack growth impact fracture test dynamic fracture toughness 


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. H. Popelar
    • 1
  • C. E. AndersonJr.
    • 1
  • A. Nagy
    • 1
  1. 1.Southwest Research InstituteSan Antonio

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