Certain coarse-grained Mg-PSZ's exhibit marked R-curve behavior, e.g., the crack resistance increases from ∼5 to ∼15 MPam1/2 with the first 500 microns of crack extension. These high toughness materials also show unusually-good flaw tolerance.
Crack propagation and crack path development in Mg-PSZ were investigated during stable crack growth using a modified DCB specimen geometry. Crack extension was monitored with a traveling microscope equipped with a video recording system. PSZ's with various heat-treatments were tested to determine the effect of microstructure on R-curve behavior.
Cracks were found to propagate discontinuously and to arrest. Smaller microcracks would develop around the arrested crack, and link together to form the macrocrack which led to eventual failure.