The wake fracture process zone (FPZ) of an alumina WL-DCB specimen subjected to cyclic loading at room temperature to 800°C was analyzed by a hybrid experimental-numerical procedure involving phase-shifting moiré interferometry and finite element analysis. A residual crack opening profile was found upon unloading and remained during subsequent cyclic loading. This anomaly is attributed to the butting of fully and partially pulled-out grains and provides a mechanistic explanation for the common notion that monolithic ceramics do not fatigue.
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