Table of Contents
ISRN Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 816853, 9 pages
Research Article

An Investigation of Thermal Shock in Porous Clay Ceramics

1Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), Princeton University, 70 Prospect Street, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
2Department of Physics, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi, Kenya
3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA 02747, USA
4Department of Physics, Kyambogo University, P.O. Box 1 Kyambogo, Kampala, Uganda
5Mintek, Advanced Materials Division, MINTEK, 200 Hans Strijdom Drive, Private Bag X3015, Randburg 2125, South Africa
6Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Olden Street, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

Received 16 February 2011; Accepted 8 March 2011

Academic Editors: A. J. Chamkha, C. W. Lim, and G.-J. Wang

Copyright © 2011 F. W. Nyongesa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The thermal shock resistance of porous ceramic materials is often characterized by the Hasselman parameters. However, in other scenarios, the room-temperature residual strengths after thermal shock are also used to quantify the damage due to thermal shock. This paper attempts to link the measured residual strengths to the dominant crack features that are introduced due to thermal shock in porous clay ceramics produced by the sintering of clay powders with well-controlled size ranges. Residual strength estimates from bend tests are compared with fracture mechanics predictions. The implications of the residual strength results are then discussed for the characterization of damage due to thermal shock.