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Dynamic Behavior of a Boron Carbide-Aluminum Cermet: Experiments and Observations

Ramesh, K. T. and Ravichandran, G. (1990) Dynamic Behavior of a Boron Carbide-Aluminum Cermet: Experiments and Observations. Mechanics of Materials, 10 (1-2). pp. 19-29. ISSN 0167-6636. doi:10.1016/0167-6636(90)90014-7.

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Experimental techniques to study and characterize the dynamic behavior of ceramics and ceramic composites are described. A new technique based on the split Hopkinson pressure bar is used to obtain the deformation and failure characteristics of brittle materials at moderately high strain rates. A normal plate impact recovery technique is used to study the evolution of damage under controlled loading conditions and understand the micromechanisms of damage in materials. The normal plate impact recovery technique has the advantage of applying sufficiently high stress levels to initiate damage and yet providing controlled amounts of energy input to avoid catastrophic failure of the material. Hence, the samples can be recovered intact and evaluated for damage using standard characterization techniques such as microscopy and ultrasonics. The damage assessment in the material together with the real-time interferometric measurements serves as a powerful experimental procedure to study processes such as damage initiation, damage evolution, and the failure modes of very hard and brittle ceramics and ceramic composites under stress wave loading. Results are presented for a boron carbide aluminum cermet, a ceramic composite and the role of its microstructure on the failure mechanisms is studied. The cermet exhibits high strength and large strain to failure, in comparison to monolithic ceramics. The basic failure mechanisms in the cermet appear to be axial microcracking due to compression, and transverse cracking generated by compression release and by tension. The cracks are also found to be bridged by ductile aluminum or intermetallics, which together with the microcracking could possibly increase the toughness of the cermet at high loading rates.

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Ravichandran, G.0000-0002-2912-0001
Additional Information:© 1990 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. Received 20 December 1989. This work was supported by the U. S. Army Research Office under Contract Nos. DAAL-03- 86-K-0169 and DAAL-03-88-K-0118 to the University of California, San Diego. The authors are pleased to acknowledge the helpful discussions with Professor S. Nemat-Nasser and the technical assistance of Messrs. J.B. Isaacs and B.A. Altman at the Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials in UCSD. The authors thank the Chemistry and Materials Science department of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories for providing the boron carbide-aluminum cermet samples.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Army Research Office (ARO)DAAL-03-86-K-0169
Army Research Office (ARO)DAAL-03-88-K-0118
Issue or Number:1-2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150225-155341523
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Official Citation:K.T. Ramesh, G. Ravichandran, Dynamic behavior of a boron carbide aluminum cermet: experiments and observations, Mechanics of Materials, Volume 10, Issues 1–2, 30 November 1990, Pages 19-29, ISSN 0167-6636, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:55219
Deposited By: Cheryl Gause
Deposited On:02 Mar 2015 23:25
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:43

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