Quantifying physical parameters to predict brittle/ ductile behavior

William W Gerberich, Kevin M Schmalbach, Youxing Chen, Eric Hintsala, Nathan A. Mara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The brittle to ductile transition (BDT) is difficult to predict without extensive fitting parameters or tuning to a particular material. Currently, predicting fracture through extensive fitting or computationally expensive algorithms is high in both cost and time required to capture the relevant deformation physics. Presented here is analysis using a comparatively high throughput analytical model to predict fracture behavior using relatively few key experimentally determined parameters: activation volume, shear stress, and activation energy. This approach could reduce the time scale to predict fracture and thus accelerate new materials discovery. The current work utilizes seminal studies to provide the inputs for validating our approach via two single crystal materials, Si and W, which both have marginal toughness at low temperatures. It is shown that knowledge of underlying deformation mechanisms (still in progress) coupled to rapid determination of physical quantities (shear stress, activation volumes, and dislocation shielding) promotes unique discovery and opportunities, including future application to polycrystalline materials and phenomena. The technique, using literature values for physical parameters, correlates well to experimental fracture behavior for these two different classes of materials, semiconductors and metals, offering new opportunities for broader study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140899
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
StatePublished - Mar 18 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Characterization
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Micromechanics
  • Plasticity


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