Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 221–234 | Cite as

Determination of Fracture Toughness of Brittle Materials by Indentation

  • Yihui Feng
  • Taihua Zhang


Fracture toughness is one of the crucial mechanical properties of brittle materials such as glasses and ceramics which demonstrate catastrophic failure modes. Conventional standardized testing methods adopted for fracture toughness determination require large specimens to satisfy the plane strain condition. As for small specimens, indentation is a popular, sometimes exclusive testing mode to determine fracture toughness for it can be performed on a small flat area of the specimen surface. This review focuses on the development of indentation fracture theories and the representative testing methods. Cracking pattern dependent on indenter geometry and material property plays an important role in modeling, and is the main reason for the diversity of indentation fracture theories and testing methods. Along with the simplicity of specimen requirement is the complexity of modeling and analysis which accounts for the semi-empirical features of indentation fracture tests. Some unresolved issues shaping the gap between indentation fracture tests and standardization are also discussed.

Key Words

indentation fracture toughness indenter geometry cracking patterns 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and Technology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Mechanics, Institute of MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Mechanical EngineeringZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouChina

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