Breakthrough in Quantitative Fractography

Tortoise unique technology extracts valuable mechanical properties from a scanned height map obtained from only a single fracture surface of small size.

Cracks at the origin of the failure of a material leave a print behind on the fracture surface. Tortoise technology is the result of Research and Devlepoment works that aim to answer at the following question: how can we extract valuable information from these prints, also called fracture facies ?

Laurent Ponson and Stéphane Vernède, co-inventors of the technology, proceeded to the statistical analysis of fracture facies of different materials commonly used in the industry : metals, alloys, concrete, ceramics, etc. They highlighted that it was possible to infer the mechanical properties required to understand the failure process : loading conditions at failure, velocity of the crack propagation or the material's strength.

According to cracking process models, these mechanical properties of the material are linked to the size of the process zone, where microcracks are located. Our technology estimates quantitatively the size of the process zone from a statistical analysis of the fracture facies topography.

To measure mechanical properties like loading conditions at failure, material's strength or velocity of crack propagation, destructive tests on cm2 size sample are usually performed, which require heavy equipment. Our innovative technology proposes an alternative to access this valuable information from the topography of frature surface, meaning a height map that can be obtained easily from only a single face of an already broken sample of mm2 size and using light equipment like an optical or a mechanical profilometer or a 3D scanner.

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