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Physics  2013 

Fracture simulation for zirconia toughened alumina microstructure

DOI: 10.1108/EC-08-2013-0163

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe finite element modelling for fracture and fatigue behaviour of zirconia toughened alumina microstructures. Design/methodology/approach - A two-dimensional finite element model is developed with an actual $Al{_2}O{_3}$ - 10 vol% $ZrO{_2}$ microstructure. A bilinear, time-independent cohesive zone law is implemented for describing fracture behaviour of grain boundaries. Simulation conditions are similar to those found at contact between a head and a cup of hip prosthesis. Residual stresses arisen from the mismatch of thermal coefficient between grains are determined. Then, effects of a micro-void and contact stress magnitude are investigated with models containing residual stresses. For the purpose of simulating fatigue behaviour, cyclic loadings are applied to the models. Findings - Results show that crack density is gradually increased with increasing magnitude of contact stress or number of fatigue cycles. It is also identified that a micro-void brings about the increase of crack density rate. Social implications - This paper is the first step for predicting the lifetime of ceramic implants. The social implications would appear in the next few years about health issues. Originality/value - This proposed finite element method allows describing fracture and fatigue behaviours of alumina-zirconia microstructures for hip prosthesis, provided that a microstructure image is available.


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