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ASTM C1421-15

ASTM C1421-15

Standard Test Methods for Determination of Fracture Toughness of Advanced Ceramics at Ambient Temperature

2016-03-09 /Historical
Superseeded by:
Significance and Use:

5.1 Fracture toughness, KIc, is a measure of the resistance to crack extension in a brittle material. These test methods may be used for material development, material comparison, quality assessment, and characterization.

5.2 The pb and the vb fracture toughness values provide information on the fracture resistance of advanced ceramics containing large sharp cracks, while the sc fracture toughness value provides this information for small cracks comparable in size to natural fracture sources. Cracks of different sizes may be used for the sc method. If the fracture toughness values vary as a function of the crack size it can be expected that KIsc will differ from KIpb and KIvb. Table 1 tabulates advantages, disadvantages, and applicability of each method.


1.1 These test methods cover the fracture toughness, KIc, determination of advanced ceramics at ambient temperature. The methods determine KIpb (precracked beam test specimen), KIsc (surface crack in flexure), and KIvb (chevron-notched beam test specimen). The fracture toughness values are determined using beam test specimens with a sharp crack. The crack is either a straight-through crack formed via bridge flexure (pb), or a semi-elliptical surface crack formed via Knoop indentation (sc), or it is formed and propagated in a chevron notch (vb), as shown in Fig. 1.

Note 1: The figures on the right show the test specimen cross sections and crack types. Four-point loading may be used with all three methods. Three-point may be used with the pb and vb specimens.

Note 1: The terms bend(ing) and flexure are synonymous in these test methods.

1.2 These test methods are applicable to materials with either flat or with rising R-curves. Differences in test procedure and analysis may cause the values from each test method to be different. For many materials, such as the silicon nitride Standard Reference Material 2100, the three methods give identical results at room temperature in ambient air.

1.3 The fracture toughness values for a material can be functions of environment, test rate and temperature. These test methods give fracture toughness values for specific conditions of environment, test rate and temperature.

1.4 These test methods are intended primarily for use with advanced ceramics that are macroscopically homogeneous and microstructurally dense. Certain whisker- or particle-reinforced ceramics may also meet the macroscopic behavior assumptions. Single crystals may also be tested.

1.5 This standard begins with a main body that provides information on fracture toughness testing in general. It is followed by annexes and appendices with specific information for the particular test methods.

Main Body




 Referenced Documents


 Terminology (including definitions, orientation and symbols)


 Summary of Test Methods


 Significance and Use






 Test Specimen Configurations, Dimensions and Preparations


 General Procedures


 Report (including reporting tables)


 Precision and Bias




 Summary of Changes




 Test Fixture Geometries

Annex A1

 Procedures and Special Requirements for Precracked Beam Method

Annex A2

 Procedures and Special Requirements for Surface Crack in Flexure Method

Annex A3

 Procedures and Special Requirements for Chevron Notch Flexure Method

Annex A4



 Precrack Characterization, Surface Crack in Flexure Method

Appendix X1

 Complications in Interpreting Surface Crack in Flexure Precracks

Appendix X2

 Alternative Precracking Procedure, Surface Crack in Flexure Method

Appendix X3

Chamfer Correction Factors, Surface Crack in Flexure Method Only

Appendix X4

Crack Orientation

Appendix X5

1.6 Values expressed in these test methods are in accordance with the International System of Units (SI) and Practice IEEE/ASTM SI 10.

1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

advanced ceramics; chevron notch; fracture toughness; precracked beam; surface crack in flexure;
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