Practical Fractography & Fracture Mechanics

ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

ICTD International Centre for Training and Development


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Who should attend

This course is intended for fracture failure analysis engineers, plant and reliability engineers, maintenance engineers, mechanical engineers, inspectors and managers who wish to increase their knowledge on the key aspects of designing and maintaining fixed equipment.

About the course

The purpose of fractography is to analyze the fracture features in order to relate the topography of the fracture surface to the causes and basic mechanisms of fracture. Hence, this course presents a systematic approach to fracture diagnosis and failure analysis in the process, manufacturing, power generation and mining industries.

The course will illustrate how to analyze and quantify the fracture parameters. It gives detailed description of the state-of-the-art fractographic technologies, including, specimen preparation and cleaning, light sources, lenses. It also gives detailed description of the utilization of the advanced Electronic and Transmission Microscopes. Fracture mechanics approach will be addressed.

Upon completion of this course, participants will gain an understanding of the various modes of fracture. Typical Atlas of most engineering fractures will be shown in details such that participants will be able to approach the analysis of fracture failures that happen either sporadically or chronically and find their root cause.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the delegates will be able to:

  • Apply correct examination and documentation procedures.
  • Interpret fracture surfaces and identify the origin, the direction of crack propagation, the type of loading, and the failure mechanism.
  • Contrast and compare features identified on fractures of plastics, metals, castings and powder metals


Day 1


  • Modes of Failure
  • Fracture Mechanics
  • Micro-mechanism of fracture
  • Crack Propagation
  • Preparation and preservation of specimen
  • Visual Examination and Light Microscopy
  • Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Transmission Electron Microscope

Crystal Structure and Heat Treatment

  • Crystal Structure
  • Iron Carbon Diagram
  • Continuous Cooling Diagrams
  • Time-Temperature-Transformation Diagrams
  • Annealing, Normalizing, Quenching, Tempering, PWHT

Material Specifications/Identification

  • SAE / AISI
  • Unified Numbering System

Day 2

Modes of Fracture

  • Dimple Rupture
  • Cleavage
  • Quasi-cleavage fracture
  • Fatigue fracture
  • Decohesive Rupture
  • Creep time dependent rupture
  • Flutes

Effect of Environment on Dimple Rupture

  • Hydrogen Embrittlement of Steels
  • Stress Corrosion Cracking
  • High Strain rate fracture
  • Low temperature Embrittlement
  • Effect of High Temperature on Fracture
  • Effect of Oxidation

Discontinuities Leading to Fracture

  • Laps, Seams, and Cold Shuts
  • Cracks
  • Inclusions
  • Porosity
  • Segregation
  •  Unfavorable Grain Flow

Day 3

Preparation and Preservation of Fracture Specimens

  • Preliminary Visual Examination
  • Preservation Techniques
  • Fracture-Cleaning Techniques
  • Cathodic cleaning
  • Chemical Etching
  • Sectioning a Fracture
  • Opening Secondary Cracks
  • Effect of Nondestructive Inspection

Photography of Fractured Parts and Fracture Surfaces

  • Setups for Photography
  • View Cameras
  • Microscope Systems
  • Lenses and Aperture
  • Focusing
  • Determination of Magnification
  • Scanning Light Photomacrography
  • Light Sources
  • Lighting of Etched Sections
  • Lighting of Highly Reflective Parts
  • Photography with Ultraviolet Illumination

Day 4

Fractal Analysis of Fractured Surfaces

  • Interpretation of Fractures
  • Quantitative Fractrography
  • Profile and Surface Roughness Parameters
  • Linearization of RSC Fractal Curves
  • Modified Fractal Dimensions
  • Fractal Analysis of AISI 4340 Steels

Typical Fractrographs – Part I Carbon Steels

  • Pure Iron
  • Ductile Iron
  • Low-Carbon Steels
  • Medium-Carbon Steels
  • High-Carbon Steels

Day 5

Typical Fractrographs – Part II Alloy Steels

  • AISI Alloy Steels
  • ASTM Alloy Steels
  • Austenitic Stainless Steels
  • Martensitic Stainless Steels
  • Participation Hardening Stainless Steels
  • Tool Steels
  • Managing Steels

Typical Fractrographs – Part III Composites

  • Metal matrix Composites
  • Cemented Carbides
  • Resin Matrix Composites
  • Ceramics
  • Polymers

Videos and materials

Practical Fractography & Fracture Mechanics at ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

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