Characterisation of stable crack extension in aluminium-sheet material usind the crack tip opening angle determined optically and by the delta 5 clip gauge technique


Tests standards aimed at deriving fracture toughness data and crack resistance curves under low constraint condition have recently been finished by ASTM and ISO. These standards cover various experimental methods for determining critical crack tip opening angles, CTOA, for characterising stable crack extension in sheet material. In this paper, some key items of these standard methods are validated, namely the experimental determination of the crack tip opening angle by optical observation and using the δ5 clip gauge method. When applying such standard methods to material characterization it is of particular interest to know how CTOA-data derived by different methods compare with each other. This paper compares CTOA-data as derived by the optical method with those derived by using the δ5 clip gauge method. In order to study possible specimen size and geometry effects the methods have been applied to a wide range of specimen geometries. The results demonstrate that CTOA-data derived by the optical method are well suited to provide a specimen size and geometry independent characterization of stable crack extension where the thus obtained CTOA-data are constant over a large amount of stable crack extension. In contrast to this result, CTOA-data obtained from the δ5 clip gauge method revealed a complex pattern of size and geometry effects, and only in case of compact specimens with a selected size the two CTOA-methods provide nearly identical CTOA-data over a large amount of crack extension.
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