ZERODUR®: New stress corrosion data improve strength fatigue prediction
The extremely low thermal expansion glass ceramic ZERODUR® finds more and more applications as sophisticated light weight structures with thin ribs or as thin shells. Quite often they will be subject to higher mechanical loads such as rocket launches or modulating wobbling vibrations. Designing such structures requires calculation methods and data taking into account their long term fatigue. With brittle materials fatigue is not only given by the material itself but to a high extent also by its surface condition and the environmental media especially humidity. This work extends the latest data and information gathered on the bending strength of ZERODUR® with new results concerning its long term behavior under tensile stress. The parameter needed for prediction calculations which combines the influences of time and environmental media is the stress corrosion constant n. Results of the past differ significantly from each other. In order to obtain consistent data the stress corrosion constant has been measured with the method comparing the breakage statistical distributions at different stress increase rates. For better significance the stress increase rate was varied over four orders of magnitude from 0.004 MPa/s to 40 MPa/s. Experiments were performed under normal humidity for long term earth bound applications and under nitrogen atmosphere as equivalent to dry environment occurring for example with telescopes in deserts and also equivalent to vacuum for space applications. As shown earlier the bending strength of diamond ground surfaces of ZERODUR® can be represented with a three parameter Weibull distribution. Predictions on the long term strength change of ZERODUR® structures under tensile stress are possible with reduced uncertainty if Weibull threshold strength values are considered and more reliable stress corrosion constant data are applied.