Increasing use of ceramics in structural applications has led to the development of a probabilistic design methodology that combines three elements: linear elastic fracture mechanics theory that relates strengths of ceramics to size, shape, and orientation of critical flaws, a characteristic flaw size distribution function that accounts for the size effect on strength via the weakest-link concept, and a time-dependent strength caused by subcritical crack growth or other mechanisms. This paper reviews recent research that has been focused on the first of the above three elements, the investigation of fracture criteria for arbitrarily oriented flaws in ceramics, i.e., the mixed-mode fracture problem in linear elastic fracture mechanics theory. Experimental results obtained with two-dimensional through cracks and three-dimensional surface (indentation) cracks are summarized and compared to mixed-mode fracture criteria. The effects of material microstructure and the stress state on mixed-mode fractures are discussed. The application of mixed-mode fracture criteria in reliability analysis is illustrated for several simple stress states in the absence of time-dependent strength degradation.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.