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Numerous methods are currently in use to measure the fracture toughness of ceramic materials. Methods based on widely accepted theory are often difficult to realize, unreliable, or expensive. Recently, the single-edge-V-notched beam (SEVNB) method, where a saw cut is tapered to a sharp V-notch using a razor blade sprinkled with diamond paste, was reintroduced. The fracture toughness was measured with this method on five advanced technical ceramics in an international round robin. It showed that the repeatability and reproducibility of this method was very good. Further, the method proved to be forgiving and robust with respect to notch preparation for ceramics having a major microstructural feature greater than about 1 μm in size. Most participants had no difficulties conducting the measurements and rated the SEVNB method as user-friendly, easy and cheap to conduct, reliable, accurate, and worthwhile for standardization. Therefore, a recommended practice has been written that is now serving as basis for a new CEN standard.
Fracture toughness, advanced technical ceramics, alumina, silicon nitride, silicon carbide, zirconia, single-edge-V-notched beam, razor blade, diamond paste, flexure
Research scientist, EMPA, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, Dübendorf,