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Examination of the onset of stable crack growth under fracture toughness testing of paper


Successive temperature distribution images around the notch tips during fracture toughness testing of paper were obtained by means of an infrared thermography system. Analysis of the images gave the critical times when the temperature significantly rose at the notch tip and when the distance between two maximum temperature spots started to decrease during the testing. Other successive microscopic images around the notch tips showed the relation between crack opening and displacement and the transitional point of the relation. The onset of stable or unstable crack growth as indicated in these critical times and the point agree with each other. For the specimen with a small width, an unstable crack starts to grow at the maximum load point without the stable crack growth period. On the other hand, a stable crack grows before the maximum load point unless the specimen width is small.The period of the stable crack growth increases with an increase in width. Differing from the methods based on thermal images to determine the onset of crack growth, the microscopic method is applicable at a wide range of strain rates and is thus suitable for quasistatic fracture toughness testing.


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Correspondence to Tatsuo Yamauchi.

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Yamauchi, T., Hirano, H. Examination of the onset of stable crack growth under fracture toughness testing of paper. J Wood Sci 46, 79–84 (2000).

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Key words

  • Fracture toughness
  • Crack opening displacement
  • J integral
  • Crack growth
  • Infrared thermography