The Charpy impact test, also known as the Charpy V-notch test, is a standardized high strain-rate test which determines the amount of energy absorbed by a material during fracture. This absorbed energy is a measure of a given material’s notch toughness and acts as a tool to study temperature-dependent ductile-brittle transition. It is widely applied in industry, since it is easy to prepare and conduct and results can be obtained quickly and cheaply. A disadvantage is that some results are only comparative.
The test was developed around 1900 by S. B. Russell (1898, American) and G. Charpy (1901, French).The test became known as the Charpy test in the early 1900s due to the technical contributions and standardization efforts by Georges Charpy. The test was pivotal in understanding the fracture problems of ships during WWII.
Today it is used in many industries for testing materials used in the construction of pressure vessels and bridges and to determine how storms will affect materials used in them.