2003 Volume 46 Issue 1 Pages 30-39
The indentation fracture (IF) method, the single-edge precracked beam (SEPB) method, and the single-edge V-notched beam (SEVNB) method were applied to evaluate the fracture toughness of four kinds of porous ceramics of SiC, Al2O3 and Mg2Al4Si5O18 with porosity ranging from 37 to 43%. The microstructures of these materials were composed of ceramics grains, glassy grain boundaries and pores. Each grain was joined together with the glassy grain boundary phase. The IF and SEPB methods were not applicable because both precracks and indenter traces were not visible. On the other hand, the SEVNB method was applicable because the V-notch could be easily machined by grinding. In the case of the SEVNB method, the applied load versus back-face strain plots under four-point bending showed nonlinearity prior to the maximum load. The R-curve behavior was estimated from the compliance change of specimens. The fracture toughness of porous ceramics was smaller than that of dense ceramics, and increased with increasing crack extension. Since the stable crack predominantly propagated along glassy grain boundaries, the R-curve behavior depended on the loading rate and matrix grain size. The increment of the R-curve by grain bridging became larger for coarser-grain sized ceramics.