, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 1155–1166 | Cite as

Detection of crack nucleation and growth in tool steels using fracture tests and acoustic emission

  • Eva Martinez-Gonzalez
  • Ingrid Picas
  • Daniel Casellas
  • Jordi Romeu


Fracture tests and Acoustic Emission (AE), a technique providing wave-like information, were coupled in this study in order to obtain in-situ data characterization of damage mechanisms. Characteristic AE signals were analyzed and related to micro-mechanical and damage mechanisms taking place in the microstructure. The occurrence of these signals varied depending on the considered steel in terms, for instance, of the quantity of registered signal or the stress at which they started to be recorded. The results of this investigation revealed the stresses at which crack nucleation and propagation processes started to occur in ingot- and powder-metallurgy tool steels with very different microstructural properties, and they provided very helpful information to understand the failure mechanisms acting in these steels.


Microstructure Micro-mechanics Damage Signal Failure Powder metallurgy 



Crack length


Acoustic Emission


Confocal Microscopy


Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscope


Peak frequency


Acting stress intensity factor


Fracture toughness


Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics


Powder Metallurgy


Geometrical correction factor


Applied stress


Bending strength



Authors from Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic acknowledge the Catalan government for partially funding this work under grant TECCTA11-1-0006.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Martinez-Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Ingrid Picas
    • 2
  • Daniel Casellas
    • 2
  • Jordi Romeu
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratori d’Enginyeria Acústica i Mecànica (LEAM), Departament d’Enginyeria Mecànica (DEM), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)EUETIBBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Fundació CTM Centre TecnològicManresaSpain

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