This report is intended to serve as a primer for railway personnel on the subject of fracture mechanics. Most structural materials contain flaws or cracks that are introduced during fabrication or service. Under various combinations of static and alternating loads and reactive environments, these flaws begin to grow slowly and stably. Unstable fracture leading to complete structural failure occurs when a flaw has developed to a critical size. The critical flaw size is a function of both the applied and/or residual stresses acting on the structure, and the toughness of the materials. The principles of linear elastic fracture mechanics can be used to describe the functional relationships for unstable (brittle, rapid) fracture that occurs even though nominal stresses are below the general yield strength (i.e., before full-plasticity has occurred in the structure). The effects of temperature, composition, strain rate and microstructure are discussed using data gathered from railway materials.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Direct requests to the Director's Office, AAR Technical Center, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Association of American Railroads Research Center

    3140 South Federal Street
    Chicago, IL  United States  60616
  • Authors:
    • Tetelman, A S
    • Stone, D H
  • Publication Date: 1974-5

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 27 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00080369
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Association of American Railroads
  • Report/Paper Numbers: R-157
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 11 1976 12:00AM