In the past R-curve effects in ceramic materials were investigated mainly with specimens containing artificial macrocracks. In this paper it is investigated how the bridging interactions in coarse-grained Al2O3will influence the subcritical crack growth and lifetime behaviour of specimens with natural crack populations. Calculations using averaged stress intensity factors show the development of surface cracks until failure. As a consequence of bridging interactions and the occurrence of a threshold stress intensity factor in the v-K relation, deviations may occur from the expected straight line in the Weibull representation of lifetimes. © 1993.
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