ASTM D5045 characterizes the toughness of plastics in terms of the critical-stress-intensity factor, KIc, and the energy per unit area of crack surface or critical strain energy release rate, GIc, at fracture initiation. ASTM D5045 covers single-edge-notch bending (SENB) and compact tension (CT). The property KIc (GIc) determined by ASTM D5045 characterizes the resistance of a material to fracture in a neutral environment in the presence of a sharp crack under severe tensile constraint, such that the state of stress near the crack front approaches plane strain, and the crack-tip plastic (or non-linear viscoelastic) region is small compared with the crack size and specimen dimensions in the constraint direction. A KIc value is believed to represent a lower limiting value of fracture toughness. This value may be used to estimate the relation between failure stress and defect size for a material in service wherein the conditions of high constraint described above would be expected.

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