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NIST Recommended Practice Guide: Fractography of Ceramics and Glasses, 3rd edition



George D. Quinn


Fractography is a powerful but underutilized tool for the analysis of fractured glasses and ceramics, for fractures in the laboratory and for component failures in service. Fractography can identify the cause of failure and can even provide quantitative information about the loading conditions. The goal of this Guide from the beginning has been to make fractographic analysis of brittle materials less an art and more an engineering practice for scientists and engineers. This Guide is a free public service of NIST for the benefit of American industry, and the worldwide ceramic and glass communities. This 3rd edition in 2020 adds some new developments in our field, new equipment and techniques, and some new case studies. The fundamentals of fractography of ceramics and glasses are unchanged. The revisions are refinements, clarifications, and addition of new examples. It expands some topics glossed over (e.g., terminal crack velocities) in the earlier editions.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 960-16 3rd ed
Report Number
960-16 3rd ed


fractography, glasses, ceramics, fracture origin, fracture mechanics, microscopy


Quinn, G. (2020), NIST Recommended Practice Guide: Fractography of Ceramics and Glasses, 3rd edition, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created September 14, 2020, Updated May 25, 2022