The role of crystallographic texture in determining the fracture behavior of a highly anisotropic ceramic, iron titanate, has been examined. By exploiting the anisotropy in its single crystal magnetic susceptibility, crystallographically textured and untextured iron titanate microstructures were formed by gelcasting in the presence and absence of a strong magnetic field, respectively. The magnetic field-assisted processing imparted a fiber-like texture to the processed ceramic material in which the crystallographic b-axes of the grains aligned parallel to the applied field. Triaxial residual stress and lattice parameter measurements showed that both the untextured and textured materials had undergone significant stress-relaxation, presumably due to spontaneous microcracking. Further, 'aggregates' of non-textured material were discovered within textured material that led to a population of meso-scale cracks (meso-cracks) in the microstructure oriented normal to the direction of alignment. Both crack popul ations were examined using a finite element simulation and confirmed by small angle neutron scattering measurements, and for meso-cracks, by X-ray tomography. Bend strength and R-curve behavior were evaluated as a function of texture and orientation in the magnetically processed materials. Strengths remained within 20% of that of the control material, except for one orientation, for which the strength decreased with increasing degree of texture due to favorably oriented meso-cracks. The R-curve behavior was highly anisotropic, with the peak fracture toughness of the magnetically processed material ranging from approximately equal to 2.5 times that of the control material. Additionally, the peak fracture toughness of each orientation increased with the degree of texture. Anisotropic fracture properties were related to interactions between the test crack and the population of meso-cracks.
- Fracture & fracture toughness
- Small angle neutron scattering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys