You are on page 1of 9


The objectives of this experiment are:

1. To develop an understanding of fracture toughness.
2. To investigate the notched bar impact work and strength of various engineering
3. To investigate the influence of the notch shape on the notched bar impact work.
4. To test ability of different types of spec impacts using two material for impacts tests;
mild steel and carbon steel.

1. General
Toughness is the capacity of a material to absorb energy and deform plastically before
fracturing. Since the amount of plastic deformation that occurs before fracture is a
measure of the ductility of the material and because the stress needed to cause fracture is
a measure of its strength, it follows that toughness is associated with both the ductility
and strength of the material.
Unlike other testing applications, impact test involves the sudden and dynamic
application of the load. For this purpose, in general, a pendulum is made to swing from a
fixed height and strike the standard impact specimen. We are used the most common
method for the measurement of impact strength, that is Charpy tests.
In Charpy test, the specimen is fixed in horizontal position as shown in Figure 1. The
pendulum strikes the impact specimen on the unnotched face. The Charpy impact
specimen is square in cross-section with V-notch or U-notch.
Because the Charpy impact specimen does not have to be clamped in position, it is much
easier to test specimens at temperature other than room temperature using this method.
The Charpy impact test can be used to assess the relative toughness of different materials.
It is used as a tool for materials selection in design. It may also be used for quality
control, to ensure that the material being produced reaches a minimum specified
toughness level.

Figure 1: Configuration of Charpy Test

2. Principles of Measurement
In an impact test a specially prepared notched specimen is fractured by a single blow
from a pendulum striker and energy required being a measure of resistance to impact.
The impact test involves a pendulum (Figure 2) swinging down from a specified height
h0 to hit the specimen and fracture it. The height h to which the pendulum rises after
striking and breaking the specimen is a measurement of the energy used in the breaking.

Figure 2: Schematic of Impact Test

If no energy were used, the pendulum would swing to the same height h0 it started from, i.e.
the potential energy mgh0 at the top of the pendulum swing before and after the collision
would be the same.
The greater the energy used in the breaking, the greater the loss of energy and so the lower
the height to which the pendulum rises. If the pendulum swings up to a height h after
breaking the specimen, then the energy used to break it is
E = mgh - mgh [Nm or J]

This energy value called impact toughness or impact value.

Specimens and Equipments

1. Pendulum impact tester G.U.N.T. WP400
2. Vernier calliper.

Impact specimens: mild steel (V- and U-notch), carbon steel (V- and U-notch)

1. The thickness of the specimen and the dimensions of the unnotched length were
measured (Figure 3).
2. The pendulum was raised to the left until it indicates the maximum energy range on
the upper indicator unit.
3. The specimen was placed horizontally across supports with the notch away from the
pendulum (Figure 4).
4. The pendulum was released.
5. The indicated value from the indicator unit was recorded.
6. The brake was applied until the pendulum has returned to its stable hanging vertical
7. The specimen was removed from the testing area and observes the failure surface.

Figure 3: Standard impact test

specimen with V-notch

Figure 4: Specimen placement

for impact test


Datum 1

Datum 2

Datum 3



























Mild steel
U- notch
Mild steel
u- notch


Un notched
(l) (mm)

(h) (mm)

Un notched cross
section area
(so) (mm)

Notch cross
section area

Mild steel
u notch





Mild steel
v notch





Carbon steel
u notch





Carbon steel
v notch






Indicator value = impact test with specimen

Impact = Datum specimen average Datum
Impact = indicator value average data (Nm)

1. By comparing the materials used and the shape of the notch, please select the best
specimen candidate that will theoretically give the highest impact energy. Describe the
From the results of the experiment, we can see differently how the specimens fracture.
By comparing all the specimens used, we can conclude that the best specimen that gives
highest impact energy is mild steel (v-notch). We can also conclude that mild steel is
tougher than carbon steel and the v-notch provides better performance against impact.
The more energy absorbed by the specimen, the more toughness the materials that will be.
2. Compare the actual result from the experiment with your hypothesis. Discuss.
By the hypothesis, that is the more energy absorbed by the specimen, the tougher the
materials will be is compared to the actual experiment results and it showed that the
hypothesis is similar to the result obtained. It is stated that mild steel is tougher than
carbon steel and the result from the experiment also shows the same. This is because mild
steel is more ductile than carbon steel and carbon steel is a more brittle specimen than
mild steel.
3. What is the information that can be obtained by analyzing the fracture surface of the
specimen? Discuss on the fracture surface obtained in this experiment and the
correlation it have with the impact energy data.
Fracture surface information: Highly ductile fracture: - specimen neck down to a point.
Moderator ductile fracture: rough plastic deformation.
Brittle fracture without any plastic deformation.
By observing the surface of specimens, we see that the carbon specimen broke completely
into 2 parts and the broken surfaces looks smoother than the mild steel. This happened due
to the ductileness of carbon is lower than mild steel.
A higher toughness material will absorb more energy upon impact and will therefore
result in a low height to which the pendulum arm will swing to following impact. The more
energy absorbed by the specimen, the more toughness the material will be. Specimen with lowest
absorbed energy means its brittle and has least toughness which can break easily and
cannot withstand the sudden high loads. Specimen with Highest absorbed energy means its
ductile and has highest toughness which can withstand the sudden high loads.

4. Assume that the impact energy obtained from the experiment have possible error.
Discuss the factors that can affect the experiment result from:
a. Specimen
More energy needed in the ductile fracture because it is a tough material.
b. Equipment
Brittle fracture happens quickly without warning while the ductile fracture
took a longer time before the whole process to happen.
5. Give two examples of applications for Charpy impact test in the industry?
Charpy test is widely used during construction of pressure vessels and also in
construction of bridge which is very important to determine which material is the most
suitable against air factor and load on it.

Impact is a high force or shock applied over a short time period. Such a force or
acceleration can sometimes have a greater effect than a lower force applied over a
proportionally longer time period. At normal speeds, during a perfectly inelastic collision, an
object struck by a projectile will deform, and this deformation will absorb most, or even all,
of the force of the collision. Viewed from the conservation of energy perspective, the kinetic
energy of the projectile is changed into heat and sound energy, as a result of the deformations
and vibrations induced in the struck object. However, these deformations and vibrations
cannot occur instantaneously. A high velocity collision (an impact) does not provide
sufficient time for these deformations and vibrations to occur. Thus, the struck material
behaves as if it were more brittle than it is, and the majority of the applied force goes into
fracturing the material. From the Charpy impact test that we have done, carbon steel
undergoes brittle fracture while the mild steel undergoes ductile fracture. More energy is
absorbed by mild steel shows that it is more suitable to be use in the structural construction
that expose to high load for example vehicles body such as car body or bus body.