ASTM C1684 - 13e1

    Standard Test Method for Flexural Strength of Advanced Ceramics at Ambient Temperature—Cylindrical Rod Strength

    Active Standard ASTM C1684 | Developed by Subcommittee: C28.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.01


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 This test method may be used for material development, quality control, characterization, and design data generation purposes. This test method is intended to be used with ceramics whose strength is 50 MPa (~7 ksi) or greater. The test method may also be used with glass test specimens, although Test Methods C158 is specifically designed to be used for glasses. This test method may be used with machined, drawn, extruded, and as-fired round specimens. This test method may be used with specimens that have elliptical cross section geometries.

    4.2 The flexure strength is computed based on simple beam theory with assumptions that the material is isotropic and homogeneous, the moduli of elasticity in tension and compression are identical, and the material is linearly elastic. The average grain size should be no greater than one fiftieth of the rod diameter. The homogeneity and isotropy assumptions in the standard rule out the use of this test for continuous fiber-reinforced ceramics.

    4.3 Flexural strength of a group of test specimens is influenced by several parameters associated with the test procedure. Such factors include the loading rate, test environment, specimen size, specimen preparation, and test fixtures (1-3).3 This method includes specific specimen-fixture size combinations, but permits alternative configurations within specified limits. These combinations were chosen to be practical, to minimize experimental error, and permit easy comparison of cylindrical rod strengths with data for other configurations. Equations for the Weibull effective volume and Weibull effective surface are included.

    4.4 The flexural strength of a ceramic material is dependent on both its inherent resistance to fracture and the size and severity of flaws in the material. Flaws in rods may be intrinsically volume-distributed throughout the bulk. Some of these flaws by chance may be located at or near the outer surface. Flaws may alternatively be intrinsically surface-distributed with all flaws located on the outer specimen surface. Grinding cracks fit the latter category. Variations in the flaws cause a natural scatter in strengths for a set of test specimens. Fractographic analysis of fracture surfaces, although beyond the scope of this standard, is highly recommended for all purposes, especially if the data will be used for design as discussed in Refs (3-5) and Practices C1322 and C1239.

    4.5 The three-point test configuration exposes only a very small portion of the specimen to the maximum stress. Therefore, three-point flexural strengths are likely to be greater than four-point flexural strengths. Three-point flexure has some advantages. It uses simpler test fixtures, it is easier to adapt to high temperature and fracture toughness testing, and it is sometimes helpful in Weibull statistical studies. It also uses smaller force to break a specimen. It is also convenient for very short, stubby specimens which would be difficult to test in four-point loading. Nevertheless, four-point flexure is preferred and recommended for most characterization purposes.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method is for the determination of flexural strength of rod shape specimens of advanced ceramic materials at ambient temperature. In many instances it is preferable to test round specimens rather than rectangular bend specimens, especially if the material is fabricated in rod form. This method permits testing of machined, drawn, or as-fired rod shaped specimens. It allows some latitude in the rod sizes and cross section shape uniformity. Rod diameters between 1.5 and 8 mm and lengths from 25 to 85 mm are recommended, but other sizes are permitted. Four-point-1/4 point as shown in Fig. 1 is the preferred testing configuration. Three-point loading is permitted. This method describes the apparatus, specimen requirements, test procedure, calculations, and reporting requirements. The method is applicable to monolithic or particulate- or whisker-reinforced ceramics. It may also be used for glasses. It is not applicable to continuous fiber-reinforced ceramic composites.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    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

    C158 Test Methods for Strength of Glass by Flexure (Determination of Modulus of Rupture)

    C1145 Terminology of Advanced Ceramics

    C1161 Test Method for Flexural Strength of Advanced Ceramics at Ambient Temperature

    C1239 Practice for Reporting Uniaxial Strength Data and Estimating Weibull Distribution Parameters for Advanced Ceramics

    C1322 Practice for Fractography and Characterization of Fracture Origins in Advanced Ceramics

    C1368 Test Method for Determination of Slow Crack Growth Parameters of Advanced Ceramics by Constant Stress-Rate Strength Testing at Ambient Temperature

    E4 Practices for Force Verification of Testing Machines

    E337 Test Method for Measuring Humidity with a Psychrometer (the Measurement of Wet- and Dry-Bulb Temperatures)


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 81.060.30 (Advanced ceramics)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/C1684

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