Toughening mechanisms of nano-composite ceramics

Honglai Tan, Wei Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Recent experiments showed that nano-composite ceramics with particles distributed within the matrix grains and along the grain boundaries can acquire high toughening. The toughening of alumina ceramics with dispersed silicon carbide nano-particles are studied in the present paper. Three toughening mechanisms are identified: switching from the intergranular cracking to the transgranular one by nano-particles along the grain boundaries, fracture surface roughening by zigzag crack path perturbed by the internal stresses of nano-particles within the grains, and shielding by clinched rough surfaces near the crack tip. For different volume fractions of nano-particles, the estimated gross toughening agrees with the experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalMechanics of Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1998


  • Toughening mechanisms
  • Fracture
  • Ceramics
  • Nano-particles


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