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Failure analysis is a process of acquiring specified information regarding the appropriateness of the design of a part, the competence with which the various steps of its manufacture have been performed, any abuse suffered by it in packing and transportation, or the severity of service under which failure has occurred. Beginning with a discussion of the various stages of failure analysis of glass and ceramic materials, this article focuses on descriptive and quantitative fracture surface analysis techniques that are used in the examination of glass and surfaces created by fracture and the interpretation of the fracture markings seen on these surfaces. Details are provided for the procedures for locating fracture origins, determining direction of crack propagation, learning the sequence of crack propagation, deducing the stress state at the time of fracture, and observing interactions between crack fronts and inclusions, etc. A separate fractography terminology is provided in this article.

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