Crack growth resistance in ceramics and ceramic-matrix composites at ambient temperature is provided mainly by the interaction between the crack surfaces in the crack wake. A cohesive crack model is presented to study the fracture behavior of these materials. The constitutive equation for the cohesive crack is obtained through micromechanical considerations and experimental observations in the crack wake. The model predictions show good agreement with experimental results in one monolithic ceramic (alumina) and two fibeoreinforced ceramic-matrix composites. The applications and limitations of the model are discussed.
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