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JOURNAL OF M A T E R I A L S S C I E N C E L E T T E R S 4 (1985) 1 4 5 7 - t 4 6 0

The effect of microcracks on the elastic moduli of brittle

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720,

It is generally accepted that brittle materials exact analysis within the framework of Walsh's
often contain large numbers of very small "no-interaction" theory is
cracks, one of the effects of which is the lowering
of the elastic moduli. Several theories have been E0 16(10 - 3v0)(1 - v2)c
-- = 1 + (2)
proposed to relate the elastic moduli of micro- E 45(2 - %)
cracked materials to the number density and
radii of the cracks. Case [1] recently examined Since Equations 1 and 2 do not involve two-
the applicability of several of these theories by dimensional approximations, they should be
eliminating the crack density parameter c considered as superseding the Walsh relations
(defined in [1] as c = N ( a ) 3, where N is the cited in [1]. Note that Equation 2 agrees with
number of cracks per unit volume and ( a ) is the what Case refers to as the Hasselman-Salganik
mean crack radius) from the relations and then equation for Young's modulus, although the
testing relationships between Young's modulus Hasselman-Salganik equation given for
E and Poisson's ratio v. He found fair agreement Poisson's ratio is not consistent with that
between theory and data for a variety of micro- derivable from Equations 1 and 2 using the
cracked polycrystalline ceramics, although this identity 3K(1 - 2v) = 2G(1 + v). The name
method was incapable of discriminating between "Salganik equations" is used by Case to refer to
the different theories, all of which predict very a pair of equations in which E and v are linearly
similar E - v relationships. We will investigate decreasing functions of c. However, in the same
this matter further and show that if E is com- paper [3] Salganik extended his theory to yield
pared to the shear modulus G, instead of to v, the two coupled ordinary differential equations des-
agreement with the theories is excellent. cribing the variation of E and v with c. Since it
Walsh [2] was the first to carry out a theor- is known that when the porosity is in the form of
etical analysis of this problem, using a method spherical pores this method leads to more accu-
based on calculating the strain energy of an rate predictions than do the linearized relations
isolated penny-shaped crack subjected to (see [4], where Salganik's approach is referred to
various loading conditions. Within the context as the "new self-consistent" method), we will
of this theory, which ignores stress-field inter- consider the following to be the "Salganik"
actions between neighbouring cracks, Walsh equations:
derived the following expression for the bulk
dlnE 16(10 - v)(1 - v2)
modulus K (normalized with respect to the bulk - (3)
modulus of the uncracked material, K0): dc 45(1 - v)

Ko 16(1 - V2o)C dlnv 16(3 - v)(1 - v2)

- (4)
-- = 1 + (1) dc 15(2 - v)
K 9(1 -- 2v0)
Walsh also calculated the effect of cracks on The initial conditions for Equations 3 and 4 are
Young's modulus, but this part of his analysis that when c = 0, E = E 0 and v = v0. These
involved two-dimensional plane-strain or plane- equations have been solved numerically for a
stress approximations. The expression for few values of v0 in [3] and approximate solutions
Young's modulus that would emerge from an have been given in [5]. The exact solutions are

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Figure 1 R e l a t i o n s h i p s between elastic m o d u l i for bodies c o n t a i n i n g p e n n y - s h a p e d cracks, a c c o r d i n g to several different


shown in [6] to be: not the same as N{a3).) Case proposed to

bypass this difficulty by eliminating c from the
E __ F,']10/913- v0] 1/9 moduli-crack-density relations, and then testing
eo (5) the resulting E-v relations. For the three
theories under consideration, the E-v relations

E (v0 -- v)(10 -- 3v0)

--= 1- (9)
E0 3%(3 -- %)

x LI
I-' -
- VoJ L3
v° j (6)
(no interaction)
E (% -- v)(10 -- 3v)
in which the dependence of the moduli on c is --= 1-- (10)
implicit. Finally, the results of Budiansky and E0 10v0 - v(1 + 3v0)
O'Connell's "self-consistent" method are given (Budiansky- O'Connell)
correctly (except for a minor misprint) in [1] as
- - = l -
16(10 - 3v)(1 - v2)c

Eo =
P-q- J
E0 45(2 - v)
These relations are plotted in Fig. la (for
45(2 - v)(v0 - v)
v0 = 0.25), where it is seen that the predictions
c = 16(1 - vZ)[10v0 - v(1 + 3%)] (8)
of the three theories are remarkably similar. This
It should be noted that each of the three theories similarity makes it almost impossible to use the
described above can be justified as an approxi- E v test to determine the relative accuracies of
mate solution of the Eshelby equations, which the three theories. By the same token, it permits
exactly define the "effective elastic moduli" of a the more general test of the appropriateness of
porous material (see [4]). the penny-shaped crack model for microcracked
As explained by Case [1], direct verification of materials. Note also that as pointed out by Case,
any of the above equations is not feasible, the E - v relationship is almost independent of %.
because of the difficulty in measuring the crack For example, the spread of the E-v curves for
density parameter c. (Note, however, that the any one of the three theories would be less than
strain energy associated with a single penny- _+ 1% over the entire range 0.5 ~< (E/Eo) <~ 1.0.
shaped crack of radius a is related to a 3 [2, 3]. Case examined several sets of data in which
The parameter c is therefore more properly different specimens of the same material
defined as equal to N(a) 3, which in general is exhibited varying degrees of microcracking, due

T A B L E I Measured elastic moduli for four polycrystalline ceramics
Material Ref. No. of data points dlnv r2 dlnG r2
dinE dlnE

Gd20 3 [7] 10 1.27 0.6868 0.730 0.9453

HfO2 [81 5 1.09 0.4572 0.788 0.9184
YMgo.o2 Cro.980 3 [ 1] 5 0.786 0.9553 0.873 0.9992
YMgo.o5 Cro.950 3 [ 1] 5 0.646 0.9723 0.893 0.9997

to variations in grain size, temperature, or ther- equations and approximates the results of all
mal annealing times. We will not consider the two these theories fairly closely, particularly when
sets of data in which measurements were taken (E/Eo) > 0.50 (see Fig. lb, in which v0 = 0.25):
at different temperatures, since these data reflect
not only the effect of different crack densities,
but also the intrinsic effect of temperature on
elastic moduli. Case's testing of the theory was
Although the dependence on v0 cannot be ignored
hampered by uncertainties in the value of v0; we
in Equation 13, the very reasonable assumption
will circumvent this problem by noting that the
that v0 lies between 0.24 and 0.30 (which is the
results of all the theories can be approximated
range of the highest measured values of v for the

To LEoJ (12)
four materials) will restrict the exponent to lie
between 0.79 and 0.83. The slopes resulting from
the curve-fitting lie between 0.730 and 0.893,
with their mean being 0.821. Note also that the
(In Fig. la, this curve would be indistinguishable correlation coefficients r 2 for the E-G regressions
from the Budiansky-O'Connell curve.) This is are all greater than were those for the E - v
equivalent to the relation In v = 0.9 In E + B, regressions. It therefore seems that these four
where the constant B absorbs the difficult-to- materials all do obey the predictions of (any
estimate parameters E 0 and v0. If a linear version of) the pennY-Shaped crack model,
regression is performed on the data in the form insofar as the model predicts the relative manner
of lnv = A l n E + B, the slope A can then be in which the elastic moduli change with
compared to the predicted value of 0.9. increased microcracking. In this regard, a com-
The results of this analys~s are contained in parison of E and G is probably a more con-
Table I, where it is seen that the slopes range clusive test than is an E - v comparison, because
from 0.646 to 1.268, with a mean of 0.949. It of the greater experimental uncertainties in
should be borne in mind that, in principle, the measuring v. Such tests, however, cannot dis-
slope d In v/d In E may have any value whatso- tinguish between the different theories available
ever. For example, for a material with spherical for taking crack interactions into account, since
pores, this slope could not only be negative, but the theories differ mainly in the predicted rate at
could be of arbitrarily large magnitude if v0 were which the moduli change as functions of crack
sufficiently small. Furthermore, the 10% uncer- density.
tainty in the experimental values of v implies
about a 20% uncertainty in d In v/d In E. In the Acknowledgements
light of these considerations, the agreement The author thanks John Kemeny of the
between theory and data is much better than Department of Materials Science and Mineral
may at first appear. Engineering, University of California at
To show more clearly that these data sets Berkeley, and Dr Michael S. King of the Earth
actually follows the predictions of the penny- Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley Labora-
shaped crack model quite closely, consider the tory, for helpful discussions of this topic.
relationship between E and the shear modulus
G, which is known more accurately than is v. The References
following expression relating E and G results 1. E. D. CASE, J. Mater. Sci. 19 (1984) 3702.
from an appropriate linearization of the Salganik 2. J. B. WALSH, J. Geophys. Res. 70 (1965) 381.

3. R. L. S A L G A N I K , Mech. Solids 8 (1973) 135. 8. S. L. DOLE, O. H U N T E R Jr, F.W.
4. R. W. Z I M M E R M A N , Int. J. Rock Mech. Miner. C A L D E R W O O D and D. J. BRAY, J. Am. Ceram.
Sci. Geomech. Abstr. 21 (1984) 339. Soc. 61 (1978) 486.
5. W. M. B R U N E R , J. Geophys. Res. 81 (1976) 2573.
6. R. W. Z I M M E R M A N , P h D thesis, University of
California, Berkeley (1984).
7. E. D. CASE, J. R. SMYTH and O. H U N T E R Jr, Received 22 March
J. Nuclear Mater. 102 (1981) 135. and accepted 1 May 1985