The Initiation and Propagation of Hertzian Ring Cracks

  • I. Finnie
  • S. Vaidyanathan
Part of the Fracture Mechanics of Ceramics book series (FMOC, volume 1)


After a brief review of the literature it is concluded that the Wei bull probabalistic treatment of brittle strength explains, very adequately, the condition under which Hertzian ring cracks initiate on glass surfaces. The case of cracking produced by a flat cylindrical punch is also considered and is compared with that due to a sphere. It is shown that ring cracking data obtained with a punch, or less conveniently with a sphere, may be used to deduce the parameters of the Weibull strength distribution.

Once a ring crack is formed in a brittle solid, its subsequent propagation under increasing load should, in principle, be predictable from the procedures of linear elastic fracture mechanics. Some observations are reported on crack trajectories which together with a finite element solution for the stress field enable the fracture toughness of glass to be estimated. A comparison is made of this approach and an approximate solution in the literature based on an energy method.


Fracture Toughness Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanic Fracture Load Spherical Indenter Weibull Parameter 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Finnie
    • 1
  • S. Vaidyanathan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of California at BerkeleyUSA

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