Indentation Method for Determining the Macroscopic Fracture Energy of Brittle Bimaterial Interfaces


  • M. Thouless — contributing editor

  • Supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Science.


Based on the mechanics analysis of crack-interface interaction, a simple and direct micro-indentation technique has been developed to evaluate the fracture energy of a bimaterial interface. The technique, when applied to a pristine planar SiC-Si3N4 interface at various angles of attack, is shown to provide a reasonable estimate of the interfacial fracture resistance. The experimentally obtained fracture energy has been compared favorably with a proposed atomic model of bond breaking between SiC and Si3N4.