The role of plasticity as a limiting factor in the compressive failure of high strength ceramics

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The behavior of aluminum oxide under compressive loading is investigated over a wide range in strain rate and degrees of confinement. It is shown that plastic flow can be generated in Al2O3 at all strain rates if confinement is sufficient to prevent premature failure via microfracture. Moreover, plastic flow is itself a source of microfracture, and the threshold for multiple slip apparently constitutes the practical ultimate strength for the ceramic. Thus, for sufficiently fine-grained alumina tested under optimum conditions, no confinement is required to generate plastic flow, at which stress the material fails via dislocation-induced general microfracture. © 1998 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Mechanics of Materials