We present a phase-field model to simulate intergranular and transgranular crack propagation in ferroelectric polycrystals. The proposed model couples three phase-fields describing (1) the polycrystalline structure, (2) the location of the cracks, and (3) the ferroelectric domain microstructure. Different polycrystalline microstructures are obtained from computer simulations of grain growth. Then, a phase-field model for fracture in ferroelectric single-crystals is extended to polycrystals by incorporating the differential fracture toughness of the bulk and the grain boundaries, and the different crystal orientations of the grains. Our simulation results show intergranular crack propagation in fine-grain microstructures, while transgranular crack propagation is observed in coarse grains. Crack deflection is shown as the main toughening mechanism in the fine-grain structure. Due to the ferroelectric domain switching mechanism, noticeable fracture toughness enhancement is also obtained for transgranular crack propagation. These observations agree with experiment.

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Published on 01/01/2012

DOI: 10.1007/s10704-011-9664-0
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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