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Design of an environmental stress cracking (ESC) tester using fracture mechanics approach.

Mohamad Nor Azli, Muhamad Syafiq; Mohd Radzi, Muhammad Faris; Ahmad Nazri, Muhammad Naguib; Saharudin, Mohd Shahneel; Inam, Fawad


Muhamad Syafiq Mohamad Nor Azli

Muhammad Faris Mohd Radzi

Muhammad Naguib Ahmad Nazri

Fawad Inam


In this research, an ESC tester machine was built by utilising a fracture mechanics approach. The machine consists of critical components such as an aluminium frame, 3D printed pulley and bracket, DC motor, Arduino microcontroller, and fasteners. The test was performed by securing an acrylic sample using a hook fixed to bracket on the base of the frame and integrated load cell with Arduino microcontroller board. Digital camera was used to capture images with Image J processing software to measure the transient damage area and macro-crack length development at each test condition. The results suggested that the applied load can influence the fracture toughness values. At 55N, the fracture toughness for the acrylic was 1.9 MPa.m1/2. Increasing the load to 65N, the fracture toughness dropped by 60% to 0.7 MPa.m1/2. The minimum fracture toughness was observed at 85N load; a 91% reduction was recorded. Maximum damage area of 89 mm2 was recorded for sample tested at 55N while minimum damage area was at 85N load, where only 31.81 mm2 area was calculated. It can be concluded that this newly built machine can be used to perform fracture toughness test on polymeric materials under environmental stress cracking (ESC) condition.


MOHAMAD NOR AZLI, M.S., MOHD RADZI, M.F., AHMAD NAZRI, M.N., SAHARUDIN, M.S. and INAM, F. 2021. Design of an environmental stress cracking (ESC) tester using fracture mechanics approach. Journal of mechanical engineering [online], 18(1), pages 123-136. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 18, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 15, 2021
Publication Date Jan 15, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 22, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 5, 2022
Journal Journal of mechanical engineering
Print ISSN 1823-5514
Electronic ISSN 2550-164X
Publisher Penerbit Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 1
Pages 123-136
Keywords Fracture mechanics; Stress cracking; Design; Image processing; Polymer
Public URL
Publisher URL


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