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Effect of Flaw State on the Strength of Brittle Coatings on Soft Substrates



H W. Kim, Y N. Deng, P Miranda, Antonia Pajares, D H. Kim, H E. Kim, Brian R. Lawn


A study is made of the role of flaw state on the strength properties of brittle ceramic coating layers bonded to soft polycarbonate substrates. We introduce Vickers radial cracks at prescribed loads into the coating undersurfaces prior to bonding to control the sizes and locations of the starting flaws. A spherical indenter is then loaded on the top bilayer surfaces, directly above the Vickers indentation sites, subjecting the radial cracks to flexural tensile stress. Radial crack responses are monitored in situ, using a camera located below the transparent substrate. Critical loads to cause radial crack instability, and ensuing growth of the arrested cracks, are recorded. Conventional biaxial flexure tests on corresponding monolith coating materials provide a baseline for data comparison. Relative to the monolith flexure specimens, the bilayers show higher strengths, the more so the larger the flaw, indicating enhanced flaw tolerance. A simple fracture mechanics analysis of the radial crack evolution in the concentrated-load field, with due account for distribution of flexural tensile stresses at the coating undersurface, is unable to account for the enhanced bilayer strengths for the larger Vickers flaws. It is hypothesized that the epoxy used to bond the bilayer components enters the cracks, causing crack-wall adherence and providing an increased resistance to radial crack instability. The fracture mechanics is nevertheless able to account for the arrest and subsequent stable extension of the radial cracks beyond the critical loads once this extraneous adherence has been overcome.
Journal of the American Ceramic Society
No. 10


brittle coatings, flaw tolerance, Hertzian contact, radial cracks, strength, Vickers flaws


Kim, H. , Deng, Y. , Miranda, P. , Pajares, A. , Kim, D. , Kim, H. and Lawn, B. (2001), Effect of Flaw State on the Strength of Brittle Coatings on Soft Substrates, Journal of the American Ceramic Society (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created October 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017