Understanding Materials Reliability - The Mechanisms of Fracture
For the benefit of the NDE community, a personal view will be given of the current status of our understanding of materials fracture.· The discussion will include a general description of the physical and chemical processes which occur when a solid under load possesses a crack. A physical picture is presented of the role of plasticity. The basic question of ductile vs brittle response of the solid is addressed and recent ideas and progress reviewed. Time dependence, and its manifestation in materials fatigue are briefly described. The implications for NDE are on two levels: (1) new insight generated by fundamental advances in the science of materials reliability will lead to new NDE tools; and (2) NDE techniques can and should be applied to further the fundamental understanding of reliability.