The failure of brittle materials under overall compression: Effects of loading rate and defect distribution
The constitutive behaviors and failure processes of brittle materials under far-field compressive loading are studied in this work. Several approaches are used: experiments to study the compressive failure behavior of ceramics, design of experimental techniques by means of finite element simulations, and the development of micro-mechanical damage models to analyze and predict mechanical response of brittle materials under far-field compression. Experiments have been conducted on various ceramics, (primarily on a transparent polycrystalline ceramic, aluminum oxynitride or AlON) under loading rates ranging from quasi-static (∼ 5X10-6) to dynamic (∼ 200 MPa/mus), using a servo-controlled hydraulic test machine and a modified compression Kolsky bar (MKB) technique respectively. High-speed photography has also been used with exposure times as low as 20 ns to observe the dynamic activation, growth and coalescence of cracks and resulting damage zones in the specimen. The photographs were correlated in time with measurements of the stresses in the specimen. Further, by means of 3D finite element simulations, an experimental technique has been developed to impose a controlled, homogeneous, planar confinement in the specimen. The technique can be used in conjunction with a high-speed camera to study the in situ dynamic failure behavior of materials under confinement. AlON specimens are used for the study. The statically pre-compressed specimen is subjected to axial dynamic compressive loading using the MKB. Results suggest that confinement not only increases the load carrying capacity, it also results in a non-linear stress evolution in the material. High-speed photographs also suggest an inelastic deformation mechanism in AlON under confinement which evolves more slowly than the typical brittle-cracking type of damage in the unconfined case. Next, an interacting micro-crack damage model is developed that explicitly accounts for the interaction among the micro-cracks in brittle materials. The model incorporates pre-existing defect distributions and a crack growth law. The damage is defined as a scalar parameter which is a function of the micro-crack density, the evolution of which is a function of the existing defect distribution and the crack growth dynamics. A specific case of a uniaxial compressive loading under constant strain-rate has been studied to predict the effects of the strain-rate, defect distribution and the crack growth dynamics on the constitutive response and failure behavior of brittle materials. Finally, the effects of crack growth dynamics on the strain-rate sensitivity of brittle materials are studied with the help of the micro-mechanical damage model. The results are compared with the experimentally observed damage evolution and the rate-sensitive behavior of the compressive strength of several engineering ceramics. The dynamic failure of armor-grade hot-pressed boron carbide (B 4C) under loading rates of ∼ 5X10-6 to 200 MPa/mus is also discussed.
- Pub Date: