Determining the Toughness of Ceramics from Vickers Indentations Using the Crack-Opening Displacements : An Experimental Study

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1433-1436
Journal / PublicationJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


Recently, a method for evaluating the fracture toughness of ceramics has been proposed by Fett based on the computed crack-opening displacements of cracks emanating from Vickers hardness indentations. To verify this method, experiments have been conducted to determine the toughness of a commercial silicon carbide ceramic, Hexoloy SA, by measuring the crack-opening profiles of such Vickers indentation cracks. Although the obtained toughness value of Ko = 2.3 MPa·m1/2 is within 10% of that measured using conventional fracture toughness testing, the computed crack-opening profiles corresponding to this toughness display poor agreement with those measured experimentally, raising concerns about the suitability of this method for determining the toughness of ceramics. The effects of subsurface cracking and cracking during loading are considered as possible causes of such discrepancies, with the former based on direct observations of lateral subsurface cracks below the indents.

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