Influence of Grinding Direction on Fracture Strength of Silicon Nitride

[+] Author and Article Information
T. J. Strakna, S. Jahanmir

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899

R. L Allor

Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI 48152

K. V. Kumar

General Electric Superabrasives, Worthington, OH 43085

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 118(3), 335-342 (Jul 01, 1996) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2806815 History: Received February 18, 1995; Revised August 19, 1995; Online November 27, 2007


It is generally found that grinding transverse to the tensile stress direction in flexure bars subjected to four-point bending results in a lower strength compared to grinding in the longitudinal direction. In the present study, standard flexure specimens made from a reaction-bonded and a sintered reaction-bonded silicon nitride (RBSN and SRBSN) were surface ground under three different conditions in both longitudinal and transverse directions to assess the effect of grinding direction on strength. Four-point flexure tests were performed on the specimens and Weibull parameters were calculated. The results showed that while the strength was not affected by the grinding condition when grinding was performed in the longitudinal direction, the strength of the samples ground in the transverse direction was reduced as the material removal rate was increased by a factor of 30. This result was confirmed by fractography, which showed that almost all the fracture initiation sites in the longitudinally ground samples were associated with near-surface microstructural features, whereas in the transverse ground samples fracture initiated from damage introduced by grinding. The strength reduction by grinding in the transverse direction was found to be material dependent, and was larger for SRBSN than for RBSN.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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