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.

Last news

May 16, 2024
New YCN Special Issue on Open Ceramics - Young Ceramists leading the Future

The special issue will accept hitherto unpublished original results submitted both in the form of full-length scientific papers and short communications, but also review papers on the topics in the list.

May 6, 2024
Results of the 1st Bioceramics Student Speech Contest

The ECerS Bioceramics Network is delighted to announce the winners of the 1st Bioceramics Student Speech Contest, which took place online from 17 to 18 April 2024!


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