ASM Metals HandBook Volume 12 - Fractography
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ASM Metals HandBook Volume 12 - Fractography


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Harper (1923-1926) (Member, 1923-1926) 
· C.H. Herty, Jr. (1934-1936) (Member, 1930-1936) 
· J.B. Johnson (1948-1951) (Member, 1944-1951) 
· L.J. Korb (1983) (Member, 1978-1983) 
· R.W.E. Leiter (1962-1963) (Member, 1955-1958, 1960-1964) 
· G.V. Luerssen (1943-1947) (Member, 1942-1947) 
· G.N. Maniar (1979-1980) (Member, 1974-1980) 
· J.L. McCall (1982) (Member, 1977-1982) 
· W.J. Merten (1927-1930) (Member, 1923-1933) 
· N.E. Promisel (1955-1961) (Member, 1954-1963) 
· G.J. Shubat (1973-1975) (Member, 1966-1975) 
· W.A. Stadtler (1969-1972) (Member, 1962-1972) 
· R. Ward (1976-1978) (Member, 1972-1978) 
· M.G.H. Wells (1981) (Member, 1976-1981) 
· D.J. Wright (1964-1965) (Member, 1959-1967) 
Staff 
This volume was published under the direction of Robert L. Stedfeld, Director of Reference Publications. ASM 
International staff who contributed to the development of the Volume included Kathleen Mills, Manager of 
Editorial Operations; Joseph R. Davis, Senior Technical Editor; James D. Destefani, Technical Editor; Deborah 
A. Dieterich, Production Editor; Heather J. Frissell, Editorial Supervisor; George M. Crankovic, Assistant 
Editor; Diane M. Jenkins, Word Processing Specialist; Donald F. Baxter Jr., Consulting Editor; Robert T. 
Kiepura, Editorial Assistant; and Bonnie R. Sanders, Editorial Assistant. 
Conversion to Electronic Files 
ASM Handbook, Volume 12, Fractography was converted to electronic files in 1998. The conversion was based 
on the Second Printing (1992). No substantive changes were made to the content of the Volume, but some 
minor corrections and clarifications were made as needed. 
ASM International staff who contributed to the conversion of the Volume included Sally Fahrenholz-Mann, 
Bonnie Sanders, Marlene Seuffert, Scott Henry, Gayle Kalman, and Sue Hess. The electronic version was 
prepared under the direction of William W. Scott, Jr., Technical Director, and Michael J. DeHaemer, Managing 
Director. 
Copyright Information (for Print Volume) 
ASM International® The MaterialsInformation Society 
Copyright © 1987 ASM International. 
All rights reserved 
First printing, March 1987 
Second printing, May 1992 
ASM Handbook is a collective effort involving thousands of technical specialists. It brings together in one book 
a wealth of information from world-wide sources to help scientists, engineers, and technicians solve current and 
long-range problems. 
Great care is taken in the compilation and production of this volume, but it should be made clear that no 
warranties, express or implied, are given in connection with the accuracy or completeness of this publication, 
and no responsibility can be taken for any claims that may arise. 
Nothing contained in the ASM Handbook shall be construed as a grant of any right of manufacture, sale, use, or 
reproduction, in connection with any method, process, apparatus, product, composition, or system, whether or 
not covered by letters patent, copyright, or trademark, and nothing contained in the ASM Handbook shall be 
construed as a defense against any alleged infringement of letters patent, copyright, or trademark, or as a 
defense against any liability for such infringement. 
Comments, criticisms, and suggestions are invited, and should be forwarded to ASM International. 
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 
ASM International 
Metals handbook. 
Includes bibliographies and indexes.Contents: v. 1. Properties and selection--[etc.]--v. 9. Metallography and 
Microstructures--[etc.]--v. 12. Fractography. 
1. Metals--Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. ASM International. Handbook Committee. 
TA459.M43 1978 669 78-14934 
ISBN 0-87170-007-7 (v. 1) 
SAN 204-7586 
Printed in the United States of America 
History of Fractography 
 
Introduction 
Fractography is the term coined by Carl A. Zapffe in 1944 following his discovery of a means for overcoming the 
difficulty of bringing the lens of a microscope sufficiently near the jagged surface of a fracture to disclose its details 
within individual grains (Ref 1). The purpose of fractography is to analyze the fracture features and to attempt to relate 
the topography of the fracture surface to the causes and/or basic mechanisms of fracture (Ref 2). 
Etymologically, the word fractography is similar in origin to the word metallography; fracto stems from the Latin fractus, 
meaning fracture, and graphy derives from the Greek term grapho, meaning descriptive treatment. Alternate terms used to 
describe the study of fracture surfaces include fractology, which was proposed in 1951 (Ref 3). further diversification 
brought such terms as macrofractography and microfractography for distinguishing the visual and low magnification (\u2264
25×) from the microscopic, and optical fractography and electron fractography for distinguishing between studies 
conducted using the light (optical) microscope and electron microscope. 
This article will review the historical development of fractography, from the early studies of fracture appearance dating 
back to the sixteenth century to the current state-of-the-art work in electron fractography and quantitative fractography. 
Additional information can be obtained from the cited references and from subsequent articles in this Volume. 
Acknowledgements 
ASM wishes to express its appreciation to the following individuals for their assistance in compiling the historical data 
used in this article: G.F. Vander Voort, Carpenter Technology Corporation; C.S. Smith, Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology; R.O. Ritchie, University of California at Berkeley; C. Laird, University of Pennsylvania; J. Gurland, Brown 
University; R.T. Kiepura, American Society for Metals. 
 
References 
1. C.A. Zapffe and M. Clogg, Jr., Fractography--A New Tool for Metallurgical Research, Preprint 36, 
American Society for Metals, 1944; later published in Trans. ASM, Vol 34, 1945, p 71-107 
2. J.L. McCall, "Failure Analysis by Scanning Electron Microscopy," MCIC Report, Metals and Ceramics 
Information Center, Dec 1972 
3. C.A. Zapffe and C.O. Worden, Temperature and Stress Rate Affect Fractology of Ferrite Stainless, Iron Age, 
Vol 167 (No. 26), 1951, p 65-69 
History of Fractography 
Fracture Studies Before the Twentieth Century 
Valuable information has long been known to exist in the fracture surfaces of metals, and through the years various 
approaches have been implemented to obtain and interpret this information (Ref 4). According to metallurgical historian 
Cyril Stanley Smith, fracture surfaces have been analyzed to some degree since the beginning of the Bronze Age (Ref 5). 
Early metalsmiths and artisans most likely observed specific fracture characteristics of metal tools and weapons and 
related them to variables in smelting or melting procedures. 
Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries. The first specific written description of the use of fracture appearance to gage 
the quality of a metallurgical process was by Vannocio Biringuccio in De La Pirotechnia, published in 1540 (Ref 6). He 
described the use of fracture appearance as a means of quality assurance for both ferrous and nonferrous (tin and copper-
tin bronzes) alloys. 
Another early authority was Lazarus Ercker, who discussed fracture tests in a 1574 publication (Ref 7). The quality of 
copper, for example, was determined by examining the fracture surface of an ingot that had been notched and then broken 
by a transverse blow. Brass was similarly tested. A gray fracture surface was found to be associated with subsequent 
cracking during working; this gray surface was the result of the use of a special variety of calamine, which caused lead 
contamination of the ingot. Brittle fractures of silver were traced to lead and tin contamination. 
In 1627, Louis Savot described in greater detail the use of the fracture test as a method of