The fatigue behaviour of alumina, zirconia-toughened alumina (ZTA) and tetragonal zirconia (TZP) have been investigated using three different techniques. Direct push-pull testing has been used to generate both static and cyclic fatigue data. The results clearly show that all the materials studied are susceptible to both static and cyclic fatigue, and that the times to failure under cyclic loading are considerably shorter than under static loads. The fatigue failure origins have been identified and the influence of surface condition on fatigue life has been assessed. The slow propagation of cracks subject to cyclic tensile and compressive loads has been studied using compact tension specimens and tapered double cantilever beam specimens. These investigations have confirmed the existence of cyclic fatigue effects in coarse-grained alumina and have shown the crack increment per cycle (da/dN) to have a power-law dependence on the peak stress intensity factor. A technique, based on repeated indentation, has been used to investigate the propagation of sub-surface cracks subjected to cyclic loading in both fine-grained alumina and ZTA. The results of the investigation suggest that compressive or closure loads on the crack faces are factors which affect the cyclic fatigue crack growth in ceramics. Based on those observations, an explanation is proposed for the mechanical cyclic fatigue effects in the ceramics investigated.
KeywordsFatigue Crack Growth Rate Compact Tension Specimen Cyclic Fatigue Subcritical Crack Growth
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