The true origin of ductile fracture in aluminum alloys

Hiroyuki Toda, Hideyuki Oogo, Keitaro Horikawa, Kentaro Uesugi, Akihisa Takeuchi, Yoshio Suzuki, Mitsuru Nakazawa, Yoshimitsu Aoki, Masakazu Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


It has generally been assumed that metals usually fail as a result of microvoid nucleation induced by particle fracture. Here, we concentrate on high-density micropores filled with hydrogen in aluminum, existence of which has been largely overlooked until quite recently. These micropores exhibit premature growth under external loading, thereby inducing ductile fracture, whereas the particle fracture mechanism operates only incidentally. Conclusive evidence of a micropore mechanism is provided by the observation of an instantaneous release of gas at failure. We can therefore conclude that the growth of micropores dominates ductile fracture. Since the material we used has a standard pore density, we can assume that an identical fracture mechanism operates in other aluminum alloys. This finding suggests that intense heat treatment, which is generally believed to enhance the mechanical properties through homogenization, may have entirely the opposite effect. This revelation will have a major impact on the engineering design of metals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-776
Number of pages12
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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