In materials science, fracture toughness (KIc) refers to the ability of a material containing a crack to resist fracture. Specifically, fracture toughness testing characterizes resistance to fracture in a neutral environment with a sharp crack, and is one of the most important properties of any material for virtually all design applications. 

Fracture toughness testing is a mechanical test method used in design and fabrication to understand and prevent brittle fracture. It can also be used to determine the useful life of a material under different conditions, including fatigue, corrosion and elevated temperatures

Our Fracture Toughness Testing Services

Using advanced techniques and equipment, our experts provide valuable insight into material performance, helping you make critical determinations about the safety, fitness, and longevity of metallic, nonmetallic and advanced materials. As a single source provider of mechanical testing, we can assist in creating a testing program that gives you confidence in your products and materials.

For more information about fracture toughness testing, or to receive a quote, contact an expert today. 

ASTM D3039 Composite Tensile Testing
Fracture Toughness Testing

Testing K1C Value

The KIC test (sometimes referred to as KIC, or K1C) is used to determine the fracture toughness of metallic materials. This test is in direct contrast with Charpy Impact Toughness, which can only be used to compare the notch toughness of materials or determine a metal’s compliance with a specification. Most often associated with ASTM E399, the Linear-Elastic Plane Strain Fracture Toughness test (or KIc value) can be used as a direct measurement across a range of temperatures to determine design, life calculations and crack growth, or remaining life calculations.

Tensile Testing Laboratory
Fracture Toughness Testing

Testing CTOD Value

Crack Tip Opening Displacement, or CTOD, is a measure of the physical opening of the fatigue crack tip at the point of failure. Typically used to measure the toughness of materials that tear before failure, all tests can be carried out from -129ºC (-200ºF) to 200ºC ( 400ºF). 

Mechanical Testing Aerospace Product Lifecycle
Fracture Toughness testing

Testing J1C and JR Values

Unlike K1C, a material’s J1C value is used to determine toughness using the energy required to fracture the sample. A related value, JR, uses one or more samples to determine the initial point of tearing. 

Using fracture mechanics, Element engineers quantitatively establish allowable stress levels for new structures, and inspection requirements for structures used beyond their initial design life. Element tests both high-strength ferrous and nonferrous materials for use in a variety of applications.

Fracture Toughness Testing

Standards We Test To

American Petroleum Institute

API 1104

American Society for Testing & Methods

ASTM E399, ASTM E1820, ASTM B645, ASTM B646, ASTM E561, ASTM E1304, ASTM D7905, ASTM D5528, ASTM D6671, ASTM E370

British Standards

BS 7448, BS 8571

Det Norske Veritas


International Standards Organization

ISO 12135, ISO 12737, ISO 15653


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