Publication: Uniaxial and Triaxial Compression Tests of Silicon Carbide Ceramics under Quasi-static Loading Condition

M.Y. Lee, R.M. Brannon and D.R. Bronowski

Explosive failure of the SICN-UC02 specimen (12.7 mm in diameter and 25.4 mm in length) subjected to the unconfined uniaxial compressive stress condition

To establish mechanical properties and failure criteria of silicon carbide (SiC-N) ceramics, a series of quasi-static compression tests has been completed using a high-pressure vessel and a unique sample alignment jig.  This report summarizes the test methods, set-up, relevant observations, and results from the constitutive experimental efforts. Combining these quasistatic triaxial compression strength measurements with existing data at higher pressures naturally results in different values for the least-squares fit to this function, appropriate over a broader pressure range. These triaxial compression tests are significant because they constitute the first successful measurements of SiC-N compressive strength under quasistatic conditions. Having an unconfined compressive strength of ~3800 MPa, SiC-N has been heretofore tested only under dynamic conditions to achieve a sufficiently large load to induce failure. Obtaining reliable quasi-static strength measurements has required design of a special alignment jig and loadspreader assembly, as well as redundant gages to ensure alignment. When considered in combination with existing dynamic strength measurements, these data significantly advance the characterization of pressure-dependence of strength, which is important for penetration simulations where failed regions are often at lower pressures than intact regions.

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