Micromechanical simulation of ferroelectric domain processes at crack tips
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The electromechanical loading situation at cracks in ferroelectric ceramics is essentially affected by domain switching. Under high electrical and/or mechanical external fields, the state of polarization and remanent strains is substantially changed at the crack tip. These irreversible dissipative processes influence the fracture toughness of the cracked ferroelectric material. In the present paper, the micromechanical domain switching processes at the crack tip are studied by numerical simulation and compared with the in situ experimental results obtained by Jones et al. (Acta Mater 55(16):5538–5548, 2007) using X-ray diffraction analyses in synchrotron. Main attention is payed to the spatial distribution of preferred domain orientation in a mechanically loaded compact tension specimen made of a soft tetragonal lead zirconate titanate ceramics. It is found that the mechanically induced favored domain orientation distribution depends on position within the plane of the CT specimen and correlates with projected deviatoric stresses and strains. Some issues concerning shortcomings in the experimental and simulation results are raised and discussed. The outcome of this type of simulations forms the basis for more realistic fracture mechanical evaluations in future.
KeywordsFerroelectric/piezoelectric materials Domain switching Crack tip Process zone Fracture
The research was funded by DFG under Grant KU 929/21-1.