Crack Propagation Behavior of Fused Silica during Cyclic Indentation under Incremental Loads

Koji Kosai, Yugang Zhao, Jiwang Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fused silica is an important optical material with important applications, where the surface must be precisely machined without subsurface damage. In this study, multi-cyclic indentations under incremental loads were performed on fused silica using two kinds of indenters to clarify the mechanisms of crack generation and propagation induced by precision grinding. It was found that incremental loading cyclic nanoindentation induced various patterns of subsurface cracking and surface spalling. Four kinds of surface spalling were identified at different locations around an indent, the temporal formation mechanisms of which were clarified by microscopic observation and topographical measurement. Load–displacement curve analysis demonstrated that incremental propagation of lateral cracks during early indentation cycles caused large-scale brittle fractures during later cycles. Compared with a Berkovich indenter, a cube-corner indenter caused more significant brittle fractures and surface spalling. The findings in this study will deepen the understanding of subsurface damaging mechanism of fused silica and other brittle solids caused by cyclic tool-workpiece interactions in grinding and other mechanical machining processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6589
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 1


  • crack
  • cyclic load
  • fused silica
  • hard brittle materials
  • micro/nano-indentation
  • subsurface damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Crack Propagation Behavior of Fused Silica during Cyclic Indentation under Incremental Loads'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this