Publication: The Use of Sphere Indentation Experiments to Characterize Ceramic Damage Models

R.B. Leavy; R.M. Brannon; O.E. Strack

Weibull modulus effect on radial cracking in boron carbide simulations impacted at 400 m/s.

Sphere impact experiments are used to calibrate and validate ceramic models that include statistical variability and/or scale effects in strength and toughness parameters. These dynamic experiments supplement traditional characterization experiments such as tension, triaxial compression, Brazilian, and plate impact, which are commonly used for ceramic model calibration.The fractured ceramic specimens are analyzed using sectioning, X-ray computed tomography, microscopy, and other techniques. These experimental observations indicate that a predictive material model must incorporate a standard deviation in strength that varies with the nature of the loading. Methods of using the spherical indentation data to calibrate a statistical damage model are presented in which it is assumed that variability in strength is tied to microscale stress concentrations associated with microscale heterogeneity.

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Research: Radial cracking as a means to infer aleatory uncertainty parameters

Aleatory uncertainty in constitutive modeling refers to the intrinsic variability in material properties caused by differences in micromorphology (e.g., grain orientation or size, microcracks, inclusions, etc.) from sample to sample. Accordingly, a numerical simulation of a nominally axisymmetric problem must be run in full 3D (non-axisymmetric) mode if there is any possibility of a bifurcation from stability.

Dynamic indentation experiments, in which a spherical ball impacts to top free surface of a cylindrical specimen, nicely illustrate that fracture properties must have spatial variability — in fact, the intrinsic instability that leads to radial cracking is regarded by the Utah CSM group as a potential inexpensive means of inferring the spatial frequency of natural variations in material properties.

Radial cracking in dynamic indentation experiments.

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