Indentation strength of silicon nitride ceramics processed by spark plasma sintering technique

N. Azeggagh, L. Joly-Pottuz, J. Chevalier, M. Omori, T. Hashida, D. Nélias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the influence of the microstructure on the true stress-strain curve of silicon nitride based ceramics. The materials were processed by spark plasma sintering technique. Si3N4 with fine, average and coarse microstructures were obtained. Load versus displacement curves (P-h) were obtained by means of instrumented indentation technique using diamond coni-spherical tip. The experimental data were coupled with a minimization method based on the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm and the non-linear part of the mechanical response was identified. Based on the obtained stress-strain curves, rolling contact simulations were performed. In addition, the nature of Hertzian contact damage was examined in the material with coarse microstructure using diamond indenters of radii 0.2 and 1mm. The surface damage was observed under optical microscopy while Focused Ion Beam Sectioning technique permitted to image the subsurface damage. An evident size effect was noticed: fracture consisting of classical ring cracks dominated at large scale while distributed microcracks beneath the indent dominated at small scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering A
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 7


  • Hertzian contact damage
  • Inverse analysis
  • Silicon nitride
  • Stress-strain curves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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