Transformation yield and plasticity, transformation zone sizes at crack tips and rising crack-growth-resistance (R-curve) behaviors were studied in a commercial-grade ceria partially stabilized zirconia polycrystalline material. The yield stresses measured in three-point bending decreased from 390 to 176 MPa when the sintering temperature was varied from 1425 to 1525 C. The corresponding total plastic strain to fracture increased with decreasing yield stress. Crack-tip transformation zones in precracked, annealed and loaded single-edge-notch-bend specimens decreased significantly in size with increasing transformation yield stress; however, the R-curves were relatively insensitive to the yield stresses or the transformation zone sizes. The measured zone sizes and R-curves were examined in terms of both crack shielding and plastic yield strip zone models.
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