Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Behavior of Materials at Cryogenic Temperatures
By
Fred R. Schwartzberg
Fred R. Schwartzberg
1
Chief
, Materials Research,
Martin Company
,
Denver, Colorado
;
Chairman of Symposium
.
Search for other works by this author on:
ISBN-10:
0-8031-6618-4
ISBN:
978-0-8031-6618-9
No. of Pages:
155
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
1966

In this paper, factors affecting the fracture characteristics of metals at cryogenic temperatures are reviewed, and the use of fracture mechanics for predicting performance of defect-containing structures is discussed. The phenomenon of serrated yielding and the effect of phase transformations on cryogenic properties are also discussed. At cryogenic temperatures, the resistance to plastic flow of body-centered-cubic metals and most close-packed-hexagonal metals increases sharply. This increased resistance causes a corresponding decrease in fracture strength. At these subtransition temperatures, brittle fracture strength is always less than the extrapolated yield strength, and only microscopic amounts of plastic deformation precede fracture. Data from smooth-tension, notched-tension, and cracked-plate tests performed on a Ni-Mo-V forging steel indicate that the temperature and stress at which fracture occurs is strongly dependent on the severity of the test conditions—the size and acuity of defects. Since fracture strength is a variable quantity, load-bearing capacity is better evaluated using fracture toughness, a basic material parameter. Quantitative predictions of load-bearing capacity can be made using the fracture-toughness parameter with expressions relating to toughness, defect size, applied stress, and relative geometry.

1.
Seitz
F.
and
Read
T. A.
, “
Theory of the Plastic Properties of Solids III
”,
Journal of Applied Physics
 0021-8979, Vol.
12
,
1941
, p. 470.
2.
Barrett
C. S.
,
Structure of Metals
,
McGraw-Hill Book Co.
,
New York
,
1943
, p. 319.
3.
Brenner
S. S.
, “
The Properties of Whiskers
,”
Growth and Perfection of Crystals
,
John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
,
New York
,
1958
, p. 161.
4.
Orowan
E.
, “
The Solid State of Matter
,”
International Conference on Physics, Vol. II
,
Physical Society of London
,
1935
, p. 89.
5.
Zener
C.
, “
The Micro-Mechanism of Fracture
,”
Fracturing of Metals
,
Am. Soc. Metals, Cleveland
,
1952
, pp. 3–31.
6.
Petch
N. J.
, “
The Cleavage Strength of Polycrystals
,”
Journal Iron and Steel Institute
 0021-1567, Vol.
174
,
1953
, p. 25.
7.
Stroh
A. N.
, “
The Formation of Cracks as a Result of Plastic Flow
,”
Proceedings, Royal Soc., London
 0950-1207, Vol.
A223
,
1954
, p. 404.
8.
Cottrell
A. H.
, “
Theory of Brittle Fracture in Steel and Similar Metals
,”
Transactions, Am. Inst. Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engrs.
 0096-4778, Vol.
212
,
1958
, p. 192.
9.
Wessel
E. T.
, “
Abrupt Yielding and the Ductile-to-Brittle Transition in Body-Centered-Cubic Metals
,”
Transactions, Am. Inst. Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engrs.
 0096-4778, Vol.
209
,
1950
, p. 930.
10.
Gilman
J. J.
, “
Dislocation Motions and the Yield Strength of Solids
,”
Properties of Crystalline Solids, ASTM STP 283
,
Am. Soc. Testing Mats.
,
1960
, p. 69.
11.
Heslop
J.
and
Petch
N. J.
, “
The Stress to Move a Free Dislocation in Alpha Iron
,”
Philosophical Magazine
 0031-8086, Vol.
1
,
1956
, p. 866.
12.
Bechtold
J. H.
,
Wessel
E. T.
, and
France
L. L.
, “
The Mechanical Behavior of Refractory Metals
,”
Refractory Metals and Their Alloys
,
Interscience Publishers
,
New York
,
1961
, p. 25.
13.
Conrad
H.
and
Hayes
W.
, “
Correlation of the Thermal Component of the Yield Stress of the BCC Metals
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Metals
 0096-7416, Vol.
56
, No.
1
,
03
1963
.
14.
Wessel
E. T.
, “
A Tensile Study of the Brittle Behavior of a Rimmed Structural Steel
,”
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats.
, Vol.
56
,
1956
, p. 540.
15.
Owen
W. S.
, M. Cohen, and
Averbach
B. L.
, “
Brittle Fracture of Mild Steel in Tension at -196°C
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Metals
 0096-7416, Vol.
50
,
1958
, p. 634.
16.
Wessel
E. T.
,
France
L. L.
, and
Begley
R. T.
, “
The Flow and Fracture Characteristics of Electron Beam Melted Columbium
,”
Columbium Metallurgy
,
Interscience Publishers
,
New York
,
1961
, pp. 459–502.
17.
Wessel
E. T.
, “
The Influence of Pre-Existing Sharp Cracks on Brittle Fracture of a NiMoV Forging Steel
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Metals
 0096-7416, Vol.
52
,
1960
, pp. 277–306.
18.
Eldin
A. S.
and
Collings
S. C.
, “
Fracture and Yield Stress of 1020 Steel at Low Temperatures
,”
Journal of Applied Physics
 0021-8979, Vol.
22
, No.
10
,
10
1951
, p. 5705.
19.
Hahn
G. T.
,
Averbach
B. L.
,
Owen
W. S.
, and
Cohen
M.
, “
Initiation of Cleavage Microcracks in Polycrystalline Iron and Steel
,”
Fracture
,
Technology Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
,
New York
,
1959
, p. 91.
20.
Bechtold
J. H.
and
Wessel
E. T.
, “
The Ductile-to-Brittle Transition in Molybdenum
,”
The Metal Molybdenum
,
Am. Soc. Metals
,
Cleveland
,
1958
, p. 241.
21.
Bechtold
J. H.
and
Shewmon
P. G.
, “
The Flow and Fracture Characteristics of Annealed Tungsten
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Metals
 0096-7416, Vol.
46
,
1954
, p. 397.
22.
Wessel
E. T.
and
Lawthers
D. D.
, “
The Ductile-to-Brittle Transition in Columbium
,”
Technology of Columbium
,
John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
,
New York
,
1958
, p. 66.
23.
Marcinkowski
M. J.
and
Lipsitt
H. A.
, “
The Plastic Deformation of Chromium at Low Temperatures
,”
Acta Metallurgica
 0001-6160, Vol.
10
,
1962
, p. 95.
24.
Wessel
E. T.
, “
Some Exploratory Observations of the Tensile Properties of Metals at Very Low Temperatures
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Metals
 0096-7416, Vol.
49
,
1957
, p. 149.
25.
Smith
R. L.
and
Rutherford
J. L.
, “
Tensile Properties of Zone Refined Iron in the Temperature Range From 298° to 4.2°K
,”
Transactions, Am. Inst. Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engrs.
 0096-4778, Vol.
209
,
1957
, p. 857.
26.
Kropschot
R. H.
, “
The Mechanical Properties Testing Program at the NBS-AEC Cryogenic Engineering Laboratory
,”
Proceedings
, 1954 Cryogenic Engineering Conference, Boulder, Colo.,
09
1954
, (NBS Report No. 3517), p. 164.
27.
Collins
S. C.
,
Ezekiel
F. D.
,
Sepp
O. W.
, and
Rizika
J. W.
, “
The Strength of Certain Stainless and Carbon Steels at Low Temperatures
,”
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats.
, Vol.
56
,
1956
, p. 687.
28.
Barrett
C. S.
, “
Metallurgy at Low Temperatures
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Metals
 0096-7416, Vol.
49
,
1957
, p. 53.
29.
Kaufman
L.
and
Cohen
M.
, “
The Martensitic Transformation in the Iron-Nickel System
,”
Transactions, Am. Inst. Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engrs.
 0096-4778, Vol.
206
,
1956
, p. 1393.
30.
Lyubon
B. Ya.
, “
Problems of Metallography and the Physics of Metals
,”
Fourth Symposium, Atomic Energy Commission Translation 2924
,
Moscow
,
1955
.
31.
Schaller
F. W.
and
Zachay
V. F.
, “
Low-Temperature Embrittlement of Austenitic Cr-Mn-N-Fe Alloys
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Metals
 0096-7416, Vol.
51
,
1959
, pp. 476–494.
32.
Wessel
E. T.
and
Pryle
W. H.
, “
Tensile Properties of AISI Types 304 and 347 Stainless Steels at Moderate Temperatures for Section Sizes Ranging From Bars to Extremely Large Forgings
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Mechanical Engrs., Journal Basic Engineering
, Vol.
83
(
d
),
1961
, p. 489.
33.
Effects of Low Temperatures on Structural Metals
,”
NASA Technology Utilization Report, NASA SP-5012
, NASA Technology Utilization Division,
12
1964
.
34.
Evaluation of Metallic Materials in Design for Low Temperature Service, ASTM STP 302
,
Am. Soc. Testing Mats.
,
1961
.
35.
Fracture Toughness Testing and Its Applications, ASTM STP 381
,
Am. Soc. Testing Mats.
,
04
1965
.
36.
ASTM Committee on Fracture Testing of High-Strength Sheet Materials
, “
Fracture Testing of High-Strength Sheet Materials
,”
ASTM Bulletin
, January 1960 (Part I) and February 1960 (Part II), pp. 29–61 and pp. 18–28.
37.
ASTM Committee on Fracture Testing of High-Strength Sheet Materials
, “
The Slow Growth and Rapid Propagation of Cracks
,”
ASTM Bulletin
,
05
1961
, pp. 389–393.
38.
ASTM Committee on Fracture Testing of High-Strength Materials
, “
Fracture Testing of High-Strength Sheet Materials
,”
ASTM Bulletin
,
11
1961
, pp. 877–885.
39.
ASTM Committee on Fracture Testing of High-Strength Materials
, “
Screening Tests for High-Strength Alloys Using Sharply Notched Cylindrical Specimens
,”
ASTM Bulletin
,
03
1962
, pp. 196–204.
40.
ASTM Committee on Fracture Testing of High-Strength Materials
, “
Progress in Measuring Fracture Toughness and Using Fracture Mechanics
,”
Materials Research & Standards
,
03
1964
, pp. 107–134.
41.
Irwin
G. R.
, “
Relation of Crack Toughness Measurements to Practical Applications
,”
Welding Journal, Research Supplement
, Vol.
41
, No.
11
,
11
1962
, p. 519s.
42.
Am. Soc. Mechanical Engineers Subcommittee on Brittle Fracture
, “
A Review of Engineering Approaches to Design Against Brittle Fracture
,”
ASME Special Publication
,
05
1965
.
43.
Winne
D. H.
and
Wundt
B. M.
, “
Application of the Griffith-Irwin Theory of Crack Propagation to the Bursting Behavior of Disks, Including Analytical and Experimental Studies
,”
Transactions, Am. Soc. Mechanical Engrs.
, Vol.
80
,
1958
, p. 1643.
44.
Sankey
G. O.
, “
Spin Fracture Tests of NiMoV Rotor Steels in the Brittle Fracture Range
,”
Proceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats.
, Vol.
60
,
1960
, p. 721.
45.
Sneddon
I. N.
, “
The Distribution of Stresses in the Neighborhood of a Crack in an Elastic Solid
,”
Proceedings, Royal Soc.
, Vol.
A187
,
1946
, p. 229.
46.
Wessel
E. T.
, “
Correlation of Laboratory Determinations of Fracture Toughness With the Performance of Large Steel Pressure Vessels
,”
Welding Journal, Research Supplement
, Vol.
43
, No.
9
,
09
1964
, p. 415.
47.
Tiffany
C. F.
and
Lorenz
P. M.
, “
An Investigation of Low-Cycle Fatigue Failures Using Applied Fracture Mechanics
,”
ML-TDR-65-53
,
Air Force Materials Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
,
05
1964
.
48.
Thick Section Fracture Toughness
,”
ML-TDR-64-236
,
Air Force Materials Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
,
10
1964
.
49.
Aerospace Structural Metals Handbook
, Vols.
I
and
II
,
Syracue University Press
, Syracuse,
1963
.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal