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The purpose of fractography is to analyze fracture features and attempt to relate the topography of the fracture surface to the causes and/or basic mechanisms of fracture. This article reviews the historical development of fractography, from the early studies of fracture appearance dating back to the sixteenth century to the state-of-the-art work in electron fractography and quantitative fractography. It also describes the applications and limitations of scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope.

This article begins with a discussion of the basic fracture modes, including dimple ruptures, cleavages, fatigue fractures, and decohesive ruptures, and of the important mechanisms...

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