Toughness measurement

Competency Group: Material Science

Type: Measure Hardware

Description: Toughness measurements are used when the materials that are used in products may contain cracks or sharp corners or other changes in shape which may generate cracks. A tough material is one which resists breaking as a result of crack growing and running through a material. An alternative way is to see how the material behaves to shock loads. E.g. How resistant is a material to breakage when it has a crack in it. For example — How hard is it to rip a piece of paper with a small rip in it.

Citation for Description: Description by authors

Units: Nm/m3

Advantages: Toughness is a good measure in order to see how the material reacts to shocks and hence can be seen as how resistant a material is to falls and impacts.

Limitations: Toughness is relative to the size of a material being tested therefore not always possible.

Regulations: ASTM International. (n.d.). ASTM E1820 — 11 Standard Test Method for Measurement of Fracture Toughness. Retrieved from

Target Audience: Engineering, R&D

Relevant to Universal Design: No

Stages and Steps: 2.2, 4.2, 4.3, 4.12, 7.1, 7.2

Free Resource: Zhang, S., Sun, D., Fu, Y. & Du, H. (2005). Toughness measurement of thin films: a critical review. Surface & Coatings Technology, 198, 74-84. Retrieved from

Free Resource: Engineers Edge. (2012). Toughness  — Strength ( Mechanics ) of Materials. Retrieved from