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Fracture Surfaces

fracture surface
A fracture surface holds clues to the root cause of failure. It may show the fracture origin, the point from which cracking begins, or reveal information about the time to failure, as in fast failure by overload or gradual fatigue leading to overload of the remaining material.
fracture surface fracture microscopic
Deformation in this steel is visible on both in the macro and microscopic scale, indicating a ductile fracture. Slow loading allowed the material to change shape in response to the applied force. On the atomic level, atoms are displaced far enough from their original positions that interatomic bonds are broken, and the atoms move through the material. The movement of the atoms in response to the applied load results in permanent deformation.
brittle fracture brittle microscopic
Little deformation is an indicator of brittle fracture. Brittle fracture can occur due to poor material properties, or fast loading. During fast loading, the atoms are not given time to move be displaced from their original positions, thus little permanent deformation is exhibited.
handle fatigue
Variable loads, cycling between large and small, or from tension to compression, can lead to failure at stresses below the normal design strength of the component. These fatigue failures often exhibit striations called beach marks or clamshell marks, which indicate crack growth over multiple cycles of stress.