The evolution of deformation-microfracture damage below Hertzian contacts in a coarse grain Ti3SiC2 is studied. The Hertzian indentation stress-strain response deviates strongly from linearity beyond a well-defined maximum, with pronounced strain-softening, indicating exceptional deformability in this otherwise (elastically) stiff ceramic. Surface and subsurface ceramographic observations reveal extensive quasi-plastic microdamage zones at the contact sites. These damage zones are made up of multiple intragrain slip and intergrain shear failures. No ring cracks or other macroscopic cracks are observed on or below the indented surfaces. The results suggest that Ti3SiC2 may be ideally suited to contact applications where high strains and energy absorption prior to failure is required.
, Lee, S.
, Lawn, B.
and Barsoum, M.
Contact Damage Accumulation in Ti3SiC2, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=850003
(Accessed November 28, 2023)