The resistance to brittle fracture of two iron alloys commonly used in machinery components is investigated. The Stress Intensity Factor (KI) is calculated using the principles of Fracture Mechanics, and is compared to available fracture toughness data in the form of Charpy Energies, and Plane Strain Fracture Toughness (KIc). Also presented are appropriate correlations to relate Charpy Energy and KIc. The critical flaw size (i.e., the flaw size necessary for brittle fracture) is also calculated and is presented in a generalized form which is applicable for various materials. The results of the investigation are evaluated, and the value of examining both Charpy and KIc data, particularly for irons, is discussed.

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