Reconciling Fracture Toughness Parameter Contradictions in Thin Ductile Metal Sheets in Tension
Lanning, Wade R.
Javaid, Syed S.
Muhlstein, Christopher L.
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The well-known trade-off between strength and fracture toughness in bulk specimens is often used to explain the low fracture toughness of very thin ductile face-centered cubic (FCC) metal specimens, but this interpretation contradicts the relative length scales of thickness-dependent strength and thickness-dependent fracture toughness. This study uses the concept of similitude to demonstrate that linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) analysis of 25:4 μm thick annealed aluminum is invalid, though the resulting fracture toughness measurements fit well with the existing literature and idea of a strength/fracture toughness trade-off. Similarly, a elastic plastic fracture mechanics (EPFM) analysis is sensitive to out-of-plane deformation which cannot be practically eliminated or corrected for with a model. However a plastic collapse analysis using a critical net section stress criterion is demonstrably valid by the concept of similitude, is insensitive to out of plane deformation, and agrees with the evidence of extensive plasticity in the fracture surfaces.