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Significance and Use
5.1 This test method is used for material development, quality control, and material flexural specifications. Although flexural test methods are commonly used to determine design strengths of monolithic advanced ceramics, the use of flexure test data for determining tensile or compressive properties of CFCC materials is strongly discouraged. The nonuniform stress distributions in the flexure test specimen, the dissimilar mechanical behavior in tension and compression for CFCCs, low shear strengths of CFCCs, and anisotropy in fiber architecture all lead to ambiguity in using flexure results for CFCC material design data (14). Rather, uniaxialforced tensile and compressive tests are recommended for developing CFCC material design data based on a uniformly stressed test condition.
5.2 In this test method, the flexure stress is computed from elastic beam theory with the simplifying assumptions that the material is homogeneous and linearly elastic. This is valid for composites where the principal fiber direction is coincident/transverse with the axis of the beam. These assumptions are necessary to calculate a flexural strength value, but limit the application to comparative type testing such as used for material development, quality control, and flexure specifications. Such comparative testing requires consistent and standardized test conditions, that is, test specimen geometry/thickness, strain rates, and atmospheric/test conditions.
5.3 Unlike monolithic advanced ceramics which fracture catastrophically from a single dominant flaw, CFCCs generally experience “graceful” fracture from a cumulative damage process. Therefore, the volume of material subjected to a uniform flexural stress may not be as significant a factor in determining the flexural strength of CFCCs. However, the need to test a statistically significant number of flexure test specimens is not eliminated. Because of the probabilistic nature of the strength of the brittle matrices and of the ceramic fiber in CFCCs, a sufficient number of test specimens at each testing condition is required for statistical analysis, with guidelines for sufficient numbers provided in 9.7. Studies to determine the exact influence of test specimen volume on strength distributions for CFCCs are not currently available.
5.4 The fourpoint loading geometries (Geometries IIA and IIB) are preferred over the threepoint loading geometry (Geometry I). In the fourpoint loading geometry, a larger portion of the test specimen is subjected to the maximum tensile and compressive stresses, as compared to the threepoint loading geometry. If there is a statistical/Weibull character failure in the particular composite system being tested, the size of the maximum stress region will play a role in determining the mechanical properties. The fourpoint geometry may then produce more reliable statistical data.
5.5 Flexure tests provide information on the strength and deformation of materials under complex flexural stress conditions. In CFCCs nonlinear stressstrain behavior may develop as the result of cumulative damage processes (for example, matrix cracking, matrix/fiber debonding, fiber fracture, delamination, etc.) which may be influenced by testing mode, testing rate, processing effects, or environmental influences. Some of these effects may be consequences of stress corrosion or subcritical (slow) crack growth which can be minimized by testing at sufficiently rapid rates as outlined in 10.3 of this test method.
5.6 Because of geometry effects, the results of flexure tests of test specimens fabricated to standardized test dimensions from a particular material or selected portions of a component, or both, cannot be categorically used to define the strength and deformation properties of the entire, fullsize end product or its inservice behavior in different environments. The effects of size and geometry shall be carefully considered in extrapolating the test results to other configurations and performance conditions.
5.7 For quality control purposes, results from standardized flexure test specimens may be considered indicative of the response of the material lot from which they were taken with the given primary processing conditions and postprocessing heat treatments.
5.8 The flexure behavior and strength of a CFCC are dependent on its inherent resistance to fracture, the presence of fracture sources, or damage accumulation processes or combination thereof. Analysis of fracture surfaces and fractography, though beyond the scope of this test method, is highly recommended.
1. Scope
1.1 This test method covers the determination of flexural properties of continuous fiberreinforced ceramic composites in the form of rectangular bars formed directly or cut from sheets, plates, or molded shapes. Three test geometries are described as follows:
1.1.1 Test Geometry I—A threepoint loading system utilizing center point force application on a simply supported beam.
1.2 This test method applies primarily to all advanced ceramic matrix composites with continuous fiber reinforcement: unidirectional (1D), bidirectional (2D), tridirectional (3D), and other continuous fiber architectures. In addition, this test method may also be used with glass (amorphous) matrix composites with continuous fiber reinforcement. However, flexural strength cannot be determined for those materials that do not break or fail by tension or compression in the outer fibers. This test method does not directly address discontinuous fiberreinforced, whiskerreinforced, or particulatereinforced ceramics. Those types of ceramic matrix composites are better tested in flexure using Test Methods C1161 and C1211.
1.3 Tests can be performed at ambient temperatures or at elevated temperatures. At elevated temperatures, a suitable furnace is necessary for heating and holding the test specimens at the desired testing temperatures.
1.4 This test method includes the following:
 Section 
Scope  
Referenced Documents  
Terminology  
Summary of Test Method  
Significance and Use  
Interferences  
Apparatus  
Precautionary Statement  
Test specimens  
Procedures  
Calculation of Results  
Report  
Precision and Bias  
Keywords  
References 

CFCC Surface Condition and Finishing  
Conditions and Issues in Hot Loading of Test specimens into Furnaces  
Toe Compensation on StressStrain Curves  
Corrections for Thermal Expansion in Flexural Equations  
Example of Test Report 
1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard in accordance with IEEE/ASTM SI 10 .
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
ASTM Standards
C1145 Terminology of Advanced Ceramics
C1161 Test Method for Flexural Strength of Advanced Ceramics at Ambient Temperature
C1211 Test Method for Flexural Strength of Advanced Ceramics at Elevated Temperatures
C1239 Practice for Reporting Uniaxial Strength Data and Estimating Weibull Distribution Parameters for Advanced Ceramics
C1292 Test Method for Shear Strength of Continuous FiberReinforced Advanced Ceramics at Ambient Temperatures
D790 Test Methods for Flexural Properties of Unreinforced and Reinforced Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials
D2344/D2344M Test Method for ShortBeam Strength of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials and Their Laminates
D3878 Terminology for Composite Materials
D6856 Guide for Testing FabricReinforced Textile Composite Materials
E4 Practices for Force Verification of Testing Machines
E6 Terminology Relating to Methods of Mechanical Testing
E122 Practice for Calculating Sample Size to Estimate, With Specified Precision, the Average for a Characteristic of a Lot or Process
E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods
E220 Test Method for Calibration of Thermocouples By Comparison Techniques
E337 Test Method for Measuring Humidity with a Psychrometer (the Measurement of Wet and DryBulb Temperatures)
E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method
ICS Code
ICS Number Code 81.060.30 (Advanced ceramics)
UNSPSC Code
UNSPSC Code
DOI: 10.1520/C134113
ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.
Citation Format
ASTM C134113, Standard Test Method for Flexural Properties of Continuous FiberReinforced Advanced Ceramic Composites, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.org
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