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A brittle fracture occurs at stresses below the material's yield strength (i.e., in the elastic range of the stress-strain diagram). This chapter focuses on brittle fracture in metals and, more specifically, ferrous alloys. It lists the factors that must all be present simultaneously in order to cause brittle fracture in a normally ductile steel. The chapter then discusses the macroscale characteristics and microstructural aspects of brittle fracture. A summary of the types of embrittlement experienced by ferrous alloys is presented. The chapter concludes with a brief section providing information on mixed fracture morphology.

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