Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

John D. Landes

Committee Members

J. A. M. Boulet, Archie Mathews


The purpose of this study is to determine if there is an alternative analysis method that can provide an estimate of fracture toughness for specimens that failed to meet all of ASTM E 1820 requirements. This study will look at three alternative analysis methods and evaluate each method’s ability to accurately and easily estimate the elastic-plastic fracture toughness. The standard method of analysis is long and complicated which leads to a number of validity requirements that many tests fail to meet. The objective is to find an easier and reasonably accurate estimate of elastic-plastic fracture toughness.

This study has shown that there are two useful means of directly measuring the toughness from the load versus displacement record. It has also shown that there is a method of substituting a linear regression for the power law regression which yields good estimates of fracture toughness. All three methods have been estimating JQ which is a provisional measure of elastic-plastic fracture toughness. The first direct method uses an integral of the area up to the maximum load point to acquire the JQ. The second direct method uses a conversion of the linear elastic fracture toughness which only uses the crack growth and the maximum load from the load versus displacement record. The final method substitutes a linear regression of the two J-R points on either side of the JQ line to determine the JQ point.

Each alternative analysis was able to acquire J values with varying degrees of accuracy. The linear substitution was the most accurate. The first direct method using an area integral tended to over predict the true J value. The second direct method using a conversion formula had a tendency to under predict the true J value. None of these methods could substitute for the ASTM standard; however, each provided a usable estimate of elastic-plastic fracture toughness.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."