Techniques of improving the reliability of ceramic materials in structural applications are described. Based on fracture mechanics concepts, these techniques use strength, or fracture mechanics methods of measurement to characterize the delayed failure behavior of ceramic materials. The techniques have been tested experimentally; for several materials, agreement between theory and experiment is satisfactory. For other materials agreement is not satisfactory, suggesting that additional experimentation is needed to evaluate the limits of the theory fully and to identify those materials for which the theory is applicable.
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