Statistics of Brittle Fracture

  • Frank A. McClintock
Part of the Fracture Mechanics of Ceramics book series (FMOC, volume 1)


From a simple statistical model of occasional cracked grain boundaries, a statistical distribution of strength is derived which does not fall into any of the three asymptotic forms of extreme value distributions. The size effects for this new extreme-value distribution are similar to those of the third asymptote with an exponent of about m = 4, but it is necessary to drop 5 or 6 standard deviations below the median in order to reduce the failure probability to 1 in 106, which corresponds more to the first asymptote, m = ∞. Stress gradient effects, leading to notch insensitivity, are reviewed for the third asymptotic distribution, and a method for correlating scatter in strength with position of failure in three-point bend specimens is derived and illustrated.


Stress Intensity Factor Brittle Fracture Failure Probability Brittle Material Asymptotic Distribution 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank A. McClintock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

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