Date of Award


Degree Type



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Duffy, Stephen

Subject Headings

Ceramics, Ceramics -- Formulae, Ceramics -- Tables, Effective area, Effective volume, Weibull distribution, Weibull theory, Three-point flexure, Four-point flexure, Finite-element analysis


Calculation of effective volume and/or effective area is a key step in estimating reliability of ceramic component life cycle. Most common tests performed to assess the strength and reliability of components made from ceramics are bend bar specimens tested in three-point and four-point flexure, C-ring and O-ring specimen under diametral compressive or tensile loads and biaxial ring-on-ring specimens. ASTM closed form solutions for the effective volume and area exists for these specimen geometries which are based on classical theories with underlying assumptions. In general the closed form expressions are valid for limited specimen geometry bounds. An alternative numerical approach has been utilized to calculate the effective volume and area for the ceramic test specimens. The results obtained through the use of the numerical approach are compared with the closed form solutions and these comparisons point to the need for revisiting the underlying assumptions used in developing the closed form expressions