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Properties are the way the material responds to the
environment and external forces.
Mechanical properties response to mechanical forces,
strength, etc.
Electrical and magnetic properties - response electrical
and magnetic fields, conductivity, etc.
Thermal properties are related to transmission of heat
and heat capacity.
Optical properties include to absorption, transmission
and scattering of light.
Chemical stability in contact with the environment -
corrosion resistance.
Brittle fracture
Ceramic almost always fracture when applied
tensile load (Tr)
Simple fracture separation of body into
two/more pieces in response to imposed stress
(constant/change with t) at T < Tm
Stress : tensile, compressive, shear
Any fracture process involves two steps 1)crack formation
(nucleation) and 2) propagationin response to an
imposed stress.
2 modes mechanism of fracture (ability to form plastic
deformation before fracture): ductile & brittle
Plastic deformation temporary change shape of material
when a sufficient load is applied-self-reversing after the
force is removed (low stress)
Ductile exhibit plastic deformation
Brittle no plastic deformation
Ductile fracture is characterized by extensive plastic
deformation in the vicinity of an advancing crack.
the process proceeds relatively slowly as the crack
length is extended.
Such a crack is often said to be stable resists any
further extension; unless there is an increase in the
applied stress.
For brittle fracture, cracks may spread extremely
rapidly, with very little accompanying plastic deformation.
cracks may be said to be unstable once started, will
continue spontaneously without an increase in
magnitude of the applied stress.
Stress raisers minute surface,
interior cracks, internal pores, grain
corners; impossible to be eliminated
(moisture, contaminants)
Direction of crack is very nearly
perpendicular to direction of tensile
stress flat structure surface
Crack propagation successive &
repeated breaking of atomic bonds
2 type of crack propagation:
transgranular & intergranular
Transgranular (transcrystalline)
cracks pass through the fracture grain
Intergranular crack propagation is
along boundaries
Under some circumstances,
fracture occurs by slow
propagation of crack stress are
static in nature; static
fatigue/delayed fracture
After nucleation, & during
propagation, a crack accelerates
until critical/terminal velocity
Then a crack may branch,
process that may successively
repeated family of crack

The site of nucleation can often be traced back to the
point where a set of cracks converges or comes
Furthermore, rate of crack acceleration increases with
increasing stress level;
correspondingly, degree of branching also increases with
rising stress.
For example, from experience we know that when a
large rock strikes (and probably breaks) a window, more
crack branching results [i.e., more and smaller cracks
form (or more broken fragments are produced)] than for
a small pebble impact.

Mechanical Behavior - Ceramics
The stress-strain behavior of brittle ceramics is not
usually obtained by a tensile test.
1. It is difficult to prepare and test specimens with
specific geometry.
2. It is difficult to grip brittle materials without
fracturing them.
3. Ceramics fail after roughly 0.1% strain;
specimen have to be perfectly aligned.
The Bend Test for Brittle Materials
Bend test - Application of a force to the center
of a bar that is supported on each end to
determine the resistance of the material to a
static or slowly applied load.
Flexural strength or modulus of rupture -The
stress required to fracture a specimen in a bend
test. (modulus of rupture or bend strength) is the
stress at fracture.
Flexural modulus - The modulus of elasticity
calculated from the results of a bend test,
giving the slope of the stress-deflection curve.
Imperfections in ceramics
Atomic defects involving host atoms may exist
Vacancies & interstitial are possible, for each ion
NaCl : Na & Cl each interstitials & vacancies
Because the atoms exist as charged ions, when defect
structures are considered, conditions of electroneutrality must
be maintained.
Electroneutrality the state when there are equal numbers
of positive and negative charges from the ions.
consequently, defects in ceramics do not occur alone.
in AX materials, defect is a
cation vacancy anion
vacancy pair known as a
Schottky defect
created by removing one
cation and one anion from
the interior of the crystal
Since both cations and
anions have the same
charge, and since for every
anion vacancy there exists a
cation vacancy, the charge
neutrality of the crystal is
Defect of a cationvacancy
and a cationinterstitial pair
a Frenkel defect
formed by a cation leaving its
normal position and moving
into an interstitial site.
There is no change in charge
because the cation maintains
the same positive charge as
an interstitial.
The ratio of cations to anions is not altered by the
formation of either a Frenkel or a Schottky defect
If no other defects are present, the material is said to
be stoichiometric.
Stoichiometry as a state for ionic compounds
wherein there is the exact ratio of cations to anions
predicted by the chemical formula.
For example, NaCl is stoichiometric if the ratio of Na+
ions to Cl ions is exactly 1:1.
A ceramic compound is nonstoichiometric if there is
any deviation from this exact ratio
Nonstoichiometry may occur for some ceramic materials
in which two valence (or ionic) states exist for one of the
ion types.
Iron oxide (FeO) can be present in both Fe2+ and Fe3+
states; depends on temperature and the ambient oxygen
The formation of an Fe3+ ion disrupts the
electroneutrality of the crystal by introducing an excess
+1 charge, which must be offset by some type of defect.
This may be accomplished by the formation of one Fe2+
vacancy (or the removal of two positive charges) for
every two Fe3+ ions that are formed
Impurities in ceramics
Type: solid solutions of both substitutional and
For an interstitial, the ionic radius of the impurity
must be relatively small in comparison to the anion.
A substitutional impurity will substitute for the host
ion (c/a) to which it is most similar in an electrical
if the impurity atom normally forms a cation in a
ceramic material, it most probably will substitute for
a host cation.
For example, in NaCl, impurity Ca2+ and O2 ions
would most likely substitute for Na+ and Cl ions,

To achieve any appreciable solid solubility of substituting
impurity atoms, the ionic size and charge must be very nearly
the same as those of one of the host ions
For an impurity ion having a charge different from the host
ion for which it substitutes, the crystal must compensate for
this difference in charge so that electroneutrality is
maintained with the solid.
One way this is accomplished is by the formation vacancies
or interstitials of both ion types
Tr ceramic suffer fracture
Require high T
involves stretching of the bonds, but the atoms do not
slip past each other.
Reversible & nonrev.
Elastic & plastic deformation

return to
1. Initial 2. Small load 3. Unload
Plastic Deformation
From an atomic perspective, plastic deformation
corresponds to the breaking of bonds with original atom
neighbors and then reforming bonds with new neighbors.
After removal of the stress, the large number of atoms
that have relocated, do not return to original position.
Permanent deformation is accomplished by means of a
process called slip, which involves the motion of
A structure that has plastically deformed, or experienced
a permanent change in shape, may not be capable of
functioning as intended
Measure resistance where a small indenter is forced into the
surface of a material permanently
The depth or size of indentation is measured
corresponds to a hardness number
Large hardness number means:
--resistance to plastic deformation or cracking in
--better wear properties
The softer the material, the larger & deeper the indentation
lower hardness number
Non crystalline
silicates with other
oxide (e.g. CaO,
Na2O, K2O & Al2O3)
Optical transparency
& relative ease to
Glass Ceramics
Glass can be transformed to crystalline by high
T heat treatment crystallisation
Product: glass-ceramics (fine-grained
Process involves nucleation & growth stage
A nucleation agent (frequently TiO2) is addded
to promote crystallization; This shift the begin
and end transformation curves to shorter time
Properties of Glass-Ceramics
relatively high mechanical
low coeff of thermal
expansion (to avoid
thermal shock)
Relative high T capability
Good dielectric properties
(for electronic packaging
Good biological
Transparent /opaque
Ease to be fabricated
in mass production
commonly used as
ovenware, tableware,
oven window,

Clay Products
Very popular products (abundant,
inexpensive, easy to be formed)
Contain nonplastic ingredient affect the
change (drying & firing) & characteristics
structural clay products: brick, tiles, pipes
(applications in which structural integrity is
Whitewares: porcelain, pottery, tableware,
sanitary ware
Properties: endure at high T, capacity to remain inert in
severe enviroment, provide thermal insulation
Common product bricks
Application: metal refining, glass manufacturing,
metallurgical heat treatment, power generation
Type of refractories:
Used for wear, grind or
cut softer material
grinding wheel, coated
abrasive & loose grain
resistance, tough
Silicon carbide, tungsten
carbide, aluminium oxide,
silica sand, diamonds
Characteritic: form
paste when mixed
with water
subsequently set &
Chemically binds
aggregate into single
structure at Tr