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Ceramic materials able to heal manufacture or damage induced microstructure defects might trigger a change in paradigm for design and application of load bearing ceramics. This work reviews thermodynamic and kinetic aspects governing the regeneration of solid contact able to transfer stress between disrupted crack surfaces in ceramics. Major crack healing processes include perturbation of crack-like pores followed by sintering of isolated pores, as well as reaction with an environmental atmosphere and filling of the crack space with an oxidation product. Since thermally activated solid state reactions require elevated temperatures which may exceed 1000 ℃, processes able to trigger crack healing at lower temperatures are of particular interest for transferring into engineering applications. Generic principles of microstructure modifications able to facilitate crack repair at lower temperatures will be considered: (i) acceleration of material transport by grain boundary decoration and grain size reduction, and (ii) reduction of thermal activation barrier by repair filler activation. Examples demonstrating crack healing capability include oxidation reaction of low energy bonded intercalation metal from nano-laminate MAX phases and catalyzed surface nitridation of polymer derived ceramics containing repair fillers.


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Generic principles of crack-healing ceramics

Show Author's information Peter GREIL*( )
Department of Materials Science (Glass and Ceramics), University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Martensstr. 5, Erlangen 91058, Germany

Abstract

Ceramic materials able to heal manufacture or damage induced microstructure defects might trigger a change in paradigm for design and application of load bearing ceramics. This work reviews thermodynamic and kinetic aspects governing the regeneration of solid contact able to transfer stress between disrupted crack surfaces in ceramics. Major crack healing processes include perturbation of crack-like pores followed by sintering of isolated pores, as well as reaction with an environmental atmosphere and filling of the crack space with an oxidation product. Since thermally activated solid state reactions require elevated temperatures which may exceed 1000 ℃, processes able to trigger crack healing at lower temperatures are of particular interest for transferring into engineering applications. Generic principles of microstructure modifications able to facilitate crack repair at lower temperatures will be considered: (i) acceleration of material transport by grain boundary decoration and grain size reduction, and (ii) reduction of thermal activation barrier by repair filler activation. Examples demonstrating crack healing capability include oxidation reaction of low energy bonded intercalation metal from nano-laminate MAX phases and catalyzed surface nitridation of polymer derived ceramics containing repair fillers.

Keywords:

crack healing, microstructure modifications, oxidation healing, MAX phases, preceramic polymers
Received: 21 September 2012 Revised: 19 October 2012 Accepted: 20 October 2012 Published: 09 January 2013 Issue date: December 2012
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Publication history

Received: 21 September 2012
Revised: 19 October 2012
Accepted: 20 October 2012
Published: 09 January 2013
Issue date: December 2012

Copyright

© The author(s) 2012

Acknowledgements

Financial support from DFG projects GR 961/34 and GR 961/32 (Reinhart Kosselleck) is gratefully acknowledged.

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