Ductile Fracture

Definition - What does Ductile Fracture mean?

Ductile fracture is a type of fracture characterized by extensive deformation of plastic or "necking." This usually occurs prior to the actual fracture. The term "ductile rupture" refers to the failure of highly ductile materials. In such cases, materials pull apart instead of cracking.

In ductile fracture, there is absorption of massive amounts of energy and slow propagation before the fracture occurs.

By understanding ductile fractures, engineers are able to develop more dependable and safer industrial products and materials.

Corrosionpedia explains Ductile Fracture

A fracture is one of the most crucial concepts in terms of material engineering. In general, fracture is referred to as one body going through separation due to imposed stresses. Almost all engineering materials undergo only two types of fracture modes: ductile and brittle fracture.

Ductile materials exhibit massive amounts of plastic buckling or deformation in comparison to brittle materials. In ductile fracture, the crack grows at a slow pace and is accompanied by a great deal of plastic deformation. In this case, the crack does not expand except when high levels of stress are present.

Under the view of a microscope, the surfaces of materials with ductile fractures appear irregular and rough, and exhibit some dimpling. But in almost all design situations, materials that exhibit ductile fracture are preferred for various reasons, including:

  • Ductile materials deform plastically, slowing the fracture process and allowing more time to correct problems
  • Higher amounts of energy strain are required to deform a ductile material
  • Ductile materials are forgiving, and any error in the design process does not result in catastrophic failure
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