Fracture mechanics of circular discs with a V-notch subjected to wedging

Wondwosen Aregawi, Brian W. Darvell, Alex S.L. Fok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: A method proposed for determining the fracture toughness (FT) of dental materials involves a ‘roller’ wedging open a V-notch in a cylindrical specimen. There are a number of problems with the design of this test and its mechanical analysis, and thus with the validity of the results obtained, were it to be used. Firstly, friction is ignored in calculating the horizontal wedging force. Secondly, the test specimen does not make use of a pre-crack at the notch tip. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of these factors on the FT calculated. Methods: An analytical solution for the mode-I stress intensity factor (KI) of the compact tension specimen, which bears some similarities, is taken to be applicable. The mechanics of the specimen has been reanalysed, with a finite-element study of the resultant stresses, and compared with the compact-tension test. Results: The assumed analytical solution can provide accurate estimates for KI for the V notched specimen. However, the apparent agreement is due to the fortuitous combination of an overestimated horizontal wedging force and an underestimated stress singularity at the crack tip. In any case, ignoring friction will lead to an overestimate of FT. Significance: It is concluded that the test as presented is invalid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalDental Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Circular disc
  • Compact tension
  • Fracture mechanics
  • V-notch
  • Wedging

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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