The mechanical properties of porous ceramics are greatly influenced by their microstructure. Therefore, mechanical behavior of highly porous ceramics is different from that of dense ceramics. In this work, we evaluate different mechanical testing methods such as static compression, Brazilian disc test and 3-point bending on their suitability for comparison of highly porous ceramic materials. It is shown that 3-point bending is more suitable than static compression or Brazilian disc testing, as the material exhibits no critical crack propagation under compressive loading. With 3-point bending tests, a quantitative comparison of the mechanical properties of foams with different microstructures and porosities is possible. Under cyclic compression the foams exhibit a very high degree of crack tolerance in combination with preservation of their structural integrity even at high strains of 10%.
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The authors would like to thank Mario Mücklich for his help with the sample preparation, Peter Kocher and Linus Ender for their help with the mechanical measurements as well as the Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI, Switzerland, for the financial contribution.
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Seeber, B.S.M., Gonzenbach, U.T. & Gauckler, L.J. Mechanical properties of highly porous alumina foams. Journal of Materials Research 28, 2281–2287 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2013.102