Indentation fatigue in silicon nitride, alumina and silicon carbide ceramics
Indentation fatigue; silicon nitride; silicon carbide; grain size.
Repeated indentation fatigue (RIF) experiments conducted on the same spot of different structural ceramics viz. a hot pressed silicon nitride (HPSN), sintered alumina of two different grain sizes viz. 1 𝜇m and 25 𝜇m, and a sintered silicon carbide (SSiC) are reported. The RIF experiments were conducted using a Vicker’s microhardness tester at various loads in the range 1–20 N. Subsequently, the gradual evolution of the damage was characterized using an optical microscope in conjunction with the image analysing technique. The materials were classified in the order of the decreasing resistance against repeated indentation fatigue at the highest applied load of 20 N. It was further shown that there was a strong influence of grain size on the development of resistance against repeated indentation fatigue on the same spot. Finally, the poor performance of the sintered silicon carbide was found out to be linked to its previous thermal history.
Volume 42 | Issue 1