Microstructure and mechanical properties of acicular mullite

C. H.H. Hsiung, A. J. Pyzik, F. De Carlo, X. Xiao, S. R. Stock, K. T. Faber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Porous acicular mullite (ACM) ceramics are known to be mechanically robust even at high porosities. This study was undertaken to better understand what aspects of acicular mullite's needle-like microstructure affect the overall mechanical properties and how the microstructure might be modified to improve mechanical performance. ACMs with a variety of porosities, pore sizes, and needle diameters were produced, and their elastic moduli, flexure strengths, and fracture toughnesses were measured. Three-dimensional image analysis was an invaluable tool in determining the needle diameters of these complex 3D network structures. It was found that porosity was the most dominant factor in determining the mechanical properties of ACM and that its behavior could be described using the Gibson-Ashby foam model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-513
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Mechanical properties
  • Mullite
  • Porous ceramics
  • X-ray tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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