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Research Article | Open Access

Load-dependent indentation behavior of β-SiAlON and α-silicon carbide

Prasenjit BARICK*( )Dulal Chandra JANABhaskar Prasad SAHA
Centre for Non-Oxide Ceramics, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, PO: Balapur, RCI Road, Hyderabad 500005, Andhra Pradesh, India
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A comparative study was carried out on the load-dependent indentation behavior with respect to hardness and induced cracks of β-SiAlON and α-silicon carbide ceramics. It is observed that silicon carbide (SiC) exhibits lower transition load, early cracking and severely crushed indentation sites, whereas β-SiAlON shows higher transition load and damage-free indentation zone even at the maximum applied load (294.19 N). Crack density is higher for α-SiC with comparison to β-SiAlON at each load. SiC exhibits both main and secondary radial types of cracking from low indentation load (0.98 N). Cracks are often associated with branching at higher load (> 9.80 N) for α-SiC. β-SiAlON exhibits cracks which are mainly radial types initiated at 4.90 N load. These opposing behaviors of β-SiAlON and α-SiC are attributed to their difference in hardness, toughness, and brittleness index. Higher brittleness of α-SiC results in early and severe cracking around its indentations. β-SiAlON shows less cracking due to its lower brittleness and higher toughness. The increased size of indentation-induced cracks of α-SiC is higher than that of β-SiAlON due to the rapid crack propagation in α-SiC with transgranular fracture behavior.


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Journal of Advanced Ceramics
Pages 185-192
Cite this article:
BARICK P, JANA DC, SAHA BP. Load-dependent indentation behavior of β-SiAlON and α-silicon carbide. Journal of Advanced Ceramics, 2013, 2(2): 185-192.








Web of Science






Received: 23 January 2013
Revised: 31 March 2013
Accepted: 04 April 2013
Published: 04 June 2013
© The author(s) 2013

Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.