The high-velocity impact resistance of hot-pressed zirconum diboride with 30 volume percent silicon carbide was studied using a combined experimental and computational approach. Test specimens in the form of 2 mm thick polished disks were impacted with-0.8 mm diameter tungsten carbide spheres at velocities up to 320 ds. The intrinsic flexure strength of the specimens was-1000 MPa. The flexure strength retained by impacted specimens decreased linearly with increasing impact velocity, falling to-600 MPa at-290 d s. Above this threshold velocity, the retained flexure strength fell rapidly, with no measurable retained strength for samples impacted at 320 ds. The experimental results suggest gradual strength degradation is associated with the formation of shear and sliding faults under the impact zone at moderate impact velocities. The abrupt decrease in strength above 290 d s is due to cone-crack propagation. Finite element modeling supports the failure mechanism for impact velocities above 290 d s, but fails to provide insight as to the failure mechanism below this velocity
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