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Fractography is the systematic study of fractures and fracture surfaces. It is a useful tool in failure analysis and provides a means for correlating the influence of microstructure on the fracture mode of a given material. This article discusses the preservation, preparation, and photography of fractured parts and surfaces, and describes some of the more common fractographic features revealed by light microscopy, including tensile-fracture surface marks in unnotched specimens, fatigue marks, and structural discontinuities within the metal. The article also explains how to interpret fracture information contained in optical and scanning-electron microscope fractographs.

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