A testing system was developed to perform tensile tests on monolithic ceramics. Tensile tests under monotonic and cyclic conditions were carried out on a silicon nitride ceramic. Fractographic observations were made to identify the causes of failure. The monotonie tensile tests are compared with three different kinds of monotonie flexural tests. A size effect analysis is performed using a Weibull-type of modeling. An expression of the cumulative failure probability, which takes account of the initial flaw distribution, is derived in the framework of the weakest link assumption and the independent events hypothesis.
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