The European Ceramic Society


Jan 2, 2020

In situ mechanical testing of ceramics in transmission electron microscope

YCN Research in Spot by Erkka Frankberg, Tampere University of Technology (FN) and YCN committee member

Nanostructured ceramics can change our view on ceramic mechanical properties. Lately several studies have shown plastic behavior in ceramic nanoparticles and bulk samples even at low temperatures. Traditionally based on the Griffith criterion, fracture toughness of ceramics has been improved for example by lowering the size of the internal flaws, by bridging the forming crack by fibre addition, or by tailoring a rod-like grain structure for the material inducing a crack bridging effect. Most notably, the stress induced phase transformation of ZrO2 has been successfully applied to improve fracture toughness of advanced ceramics.
One way to improve the fracture toughness of ceramics, that is not included in the Griffith criterion, is to allow plastic deformation of the ceramic structure. Already in 1987, Karch et al. suggested in Nature that by lowering the grain size of a bulk ceramic material down to few nanometers, the deformation behaviour could change from brittle to ductile even at low temperatures.
Currently, I am studying the mechanical limits of these nanostructured ceramics by using in situ transmission electron microscopy. This enables us to manipulate (compression/tension) the sample in real time while imaging the deformation mechanism. 
This will allow us to understand how these new materials behave under stress and whether we could increase the ductility of ceramics close to that of metals.

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Oct 6, 2023
YCN Newsletter 18 - New YCN Representative call

You can now apply to the YCN Representative position here! Deadline for applications is October 31st 2023.

Oct 6, 2023
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Please note that the decisions of the JECS Trust board will not be known before end of February 2024. Activities submitted for the deadline of 30th November 2023 for support from the JECS Trust should then not begin before mid-March 2024.


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