This article discusses the fractal characteristics of fracture surfaces as a means for describing and quantifying irregular, complex curves and surfaces of fractured materials. It describes the important relationship between the profile and surface roughness parameters that yield the surface area of irregular fracture surfaces. The article reviews the experimental procedures required to obtain profiles and measurements that are made. In addition, fractal equations that linearize all the experimental data and provide constant fractal dimensions are presented in the article. Modified fractal dimensions that result from these analyses appear to possess some generality for natural irregular nonplanar surfaces and their profiles.
The principal objective of quantitative fractography is to express the characteristics of features in the fracture surface in quantitative terms, such as the true area, length, size, spacing, orientation, and location. This article provides a detailed account of the development of more quantitative geometrical methods for characterizing nonplanar fracture surfaces. Prominent techniques for studying fracture surfaces are based on the projected images, stereoscopic viewing, and sectioning. The article provides information on various roughness and materials-related parameters for profiles and surfaces. The applications of quantitative fractography for striation spacings, precision matching, and crack path tortuosity are also discussed.