Subsurface Indentation Damage and Mechanical Characterization of α‐Sialon Ceramics
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Engineering
Two hot‐pressed sintered α‐sialon samples of differing microstructures, but identical chemical composition, were evaluated first, in terms of indentation hardness and modulus, by depth‐sensing indentation (DSI) tests on planes parallel and normal to the hot‐pressed surface. The surface and subsurface cracks created under the DSI tests have also been investigated in relation to the effect of microstructure. Subsequently, Vickers indentation tests were conducted to explore the deformation and fracture characteristics in the two samples. The effect of microstructure and grain orientation on the development of different types of cracks, in particular subsurface cracks, was revealed and analyzed. Additionally, it suggested that the focused ion beam (FIB) miller is a preferred tool, in comparison to the conventional cross‐sectioning techniques, for examining subsurface crack formation and structural characteristics.