1989 年 38 巻 434 号 p. 1254-1260
In order to study the characteristics of static strength of ceramics, 3-point bending tests with a constant loading rate were carried out at room temperature in air, by using sintered silicon nitride, partially stabilized zirconia and two kinds of alumina. The effects of specimen geometry and temperature on the strength were also investigated by conducting ring compression tests for the silicon nitride at room temperature and 1300°C in air.
In the 3-point bending tests, better fitness for the two-parameter Weibull distribution was found when the data were correlated with the true fracture stress evaluated at the fracture point of specimen, rather than the maximum nominal stress. The effect of specimen geometry on the strength was small for the case investigated in this study. The mean strength and the coefficient of variation of the strength at 1300°C were reduced to about half and one-third of those at room temperature, respectively.
The fracture surface of the tested specimens was observed through a scanning electron microscope, and the predominant flaws were identified which were preexisting in the specimens. The equivalent crack length was evaluated taking account of the crack geometry and the stress state associated with the crack location. The fracture stress was correlated with the equivalent crack length. The results showed that the strength decreased with decreasing flaw size, compared with the estimate expected from the linear fracture mechanics concept. The tendency in the relation was explained by the modification that a material constant should be added to the original equivalent crack length.
The fractographic observation suggested that the fracture of the silicon nitride at elevated temperatures followed the formation of semi-circular damage-region due to the slow crack growth. Another fracture mechanics approach was required in the analysis of the fracture of ceramics with inelastic behavior at elevated temperature.