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Matrix fracture in fiber-reinforced ceramics. (English) Zbl 0575.73106
A fiber-reinforced ceramic subject to tensile stress in the fiber direction can undergo extensive matrix cracking normal to the fibers, while the fibers remain intact. In this paper, the critical conditions for the onset of widespread matrix cracking are studied analytically on the basis of fracture mechanics theory. Two distinct situations concerning the fiber-matrix interface are contemplated: (i) unbounded fibers initially held in the matrix by thermal or other strain mismatches, but susceptible to frictional slip, and (ii) fibers that initially are weakly bonded to the matrix, but may be debonded by the stresses near the tip of an advancing matrix crack. The results generalize those of the Aveston-Cooper-Kelly theory for case (i). Optimal thermal strain mismatches for maximum cracking strength are studied, and theoretical results are compared with experimental data for a SiC fiber, lithium-alumina-silicate glass matrix composite.

MSC:
74R05 Brittle damage
74E30 Composite and mixture properties
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