Crack growth during poling and polarisation reversal in commercial piezoceramics

M Alguero, B L Cheng, I R Gibson, F Guiu, M J Reece

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The growth of Vicker's cracks during the poling of piezoelectric ceramics was studied for two PZT based compositions with different tetragonal distortion of the perovskite structure. Studies on the two compositions with different poling electric fields and similar initial crack lengths showed that crack growth was not proportional to the induced stress free longitudinal strain by 90 degrees domain reorientation. This observation is not consistent with the previously proposed mechanism of crack growth based on a strain mismatch between the material at the crack flanks and the rest of the ceramic. This mismatch was proposed to occur because of the reduction of the electric field within the crack flanks. The reasons for the disappearance of the mismatch are discussed here, and an alternative mechanism of crack growth consistent with our results is proposed, which takes into account the electrically induced stress gradient at the crack tip, produced by the piezoelectric effect. Cracks were also found to grow during a small number of subsequent polarisation reversals, the explanation of which must be due to some other additional effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-597
Number of pages5
JournalBoletin de la Sociedad Espanola de Ceramica y Vidrio
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • piezoceramics
  • crack growth


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