MICRO-BENDING FOR MULTI-SCALE FRACTURE CHARACTERIZATION OF CEMENT-BASED MATERIALS AND CERAMICS
Santiago El AwadGrand Ballroom B
The last few years have seen the development of several testing techniques at the micro-scale to characterize the mechanical properties of multi-scale materials. One such novel methods are micro-cantilever bending tests to assess mechanical properties of materials. Micro-cantilever tests allow for a variety of test configurations, including scaled chevron-notch geometry allowing controlled crack-growth prior to critical failure load. Chevron notches are convenient at such length scales since they allow for ex-situ measurements of crack length – avoiding the need to directly measure crack length, which could be a challenge at such scale. The test approach provides access to R-curve behavior for quasi-brittle materials on the micro-scale and opens the door to investigate more sophisticated topics, i.e., creep crack growth. Moreover, the technique complemented with visualization and scanning tools, such as Scanning Electron Microscopy and Microtomography, allows for a proper and extensive analysis of the crack growth phenomena.
The motivation of this work revolves around expanding currently available knowledge on multiscale characterization of cement-based materials with the focus on fracture testing at the micro- and mesoscale through the novel micro-bending technique. This test opens the door to understanding fracture, toughening mechanisms, and evolution of these properties regarding processing variables.