Nanomechanical characterization of the fracture toughness of Al/SiC nanolaminates

L. W. Yang, C. R. Mayer, N. Chawla, J. LLorca, J. M. Molina-Aldareguía

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The fracture toughness of Al/SiC nanolaminates with different layer thicknesses (in the range 10 to 100 nm) was measured by means of micropillar splitting and bending of a notched beam. The crack plane was perpendicular to the layers in the former while notched beams with the notch parallel and perpendicular to the layers were milled in the latter. It was found that crack propagation parallel to the layers took place along the metal–ceramic interfaces and the toughness increased with the layer thickness due to the contribution of the plastic deformation of the Al layers. Crack propagation perpendicular to the layers showed evidence of crack deflection/arrest at the interface. The toughness in this orientation increased as the layer thickness decreased due to the higher density of interfaces except for the nanolaminates with 10 nm layer thickness. In this latter case, crack propagation took place along the weak columnar grain boundaries, leading to a marked reduction in toughness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100945
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Fracture toughness
  • Nanolaminates
  • Nanomechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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