Title: Modelling of micromechanical fracture for ceramic composites through the Voronoi Cell Finite Element approach

Authors: D. Gastaldi

Addresses: Department of Structural Engineering, Politecnico Milano, piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy

Abstract: In this work the micromechanical behaviour of ceramic composites has been investigated through a non-linear hybrid finite element approach. The Voronoi Cell Finite Element Method has been extended in order to investigate the damage tolerant behaviour at the microstructural length scale in homogeneous ceramics and Alumina/Zirconia composites. A criterion based on the average normal tensile stress acting on grain boundary has been assumed as the condition for the nucleation and propagation of intergranular fractures. The paper presents the study of the effects of the residual stresses and gradient mechanical properties on the near-surface stress field arising in contact problems.

Keywords: Voronoi FEM; micromechanical fracture; graded ceramic composites; finite element method; modelling; damage tolerant behaviour; alumina; zirconia; tensile stress; intergranular fractures; residual stress.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMPT.2009.025686

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, 2009 Vol.35 No.3/4, pp.346 - 360

Published online: 23 May 2009 *

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