Understanding Why Ceramics Fail and Designing for Safety Short Course | The American Ceramic Society

Understanding Why Ceramics Fail and Designing for Safety Short Course

Steve Freiman teaches a short course at Ceramics Expo 2018.
Steve Freiman teaches a short course at Ceramics Expo 2018.

Understand Why Ceramics Fail and Designing for Safety

April 29, 2019—8:00 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. | Held in conjunction with Ceramics Expo 2019

Instructor: Steve Freiman, Freiman Consulting Inc.

Engineers who use ceramic components know they are brittle and can cause damage and even mechanical failure. This course presents a practical fracture mechanics background so you can better understand brittle failure. This course is good for anyone working with ceramic components to include electronic, optical, or structural applications, among others.

Course Objective

In this course we will describe some of the unique characteristics of ceramic materials, which must be taken into account in their design and use. Microstructural effects, which have a major influence on both fracture toughness and strength, will be explored in some detail. The deleterious effects of external environments, particularly water, on crack growth, and the test procedures needed to explore this phenomenon will be discussed. Best practices in the use of both fracture mechanics and strength tests will be reviewed.  Quantitative fractographic analysis of failed parts will be shown to be a powerful tool in understanding the cause of failure as well as to quantitatively determine failure stresses that arose in-service.  Finally, a modern, computer-driven approach to statistically examine strength distributions for ceramics will be demonstrated.  It will be shown that this tool can be used to set service stresses which will ensure safe lifetimes to very low probabilities of failure.

Course Instructor

Freiman, Stephen W_1998 (2)

Stephen Freiman graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B. ChE. and a M. S. in Metallurgy. After receiving a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida in 1968, Freiman worked at the IIT Research Institute and the Naval Research Laboratory. He joined NIST (then NBS) in 1978. From 1992 to 2002 Freiman served as Chief of the Ceramics Division at NIST, overseeing programs in ceramic processing and properties. Prior to his leaving NIST in 2006 to start a consulting business (Freiman Consulting Inc.), Freiman served for four years as Deputy Director of the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory. Freiman has published over 200 scientific papers focusing primarily on the mechanical properties of brittle materials. He was the first Chairman of the ASTM Subcommittee addressing brittle fracture and a past Chair of the Steering Committee of the Versailles Project for Advanced Materials and Standards. Freiman served as Treasurer, and President of The American Ceramic Society, and is a Fellow and Distinguished Life Member of the Society. Dr. Freiman is coauthor of the book The Fracture of Brittle Materials: Testing and Analysis.


Check back in early 2019 to register for this conference. For planning purposes, registration rates are listed below.

On or before March 29, 2019After March 29, 2019
Registration with ACerS Member Discount$575$725

If you have questions about registration, please contact Customer Service at 1-866-721-3322 (U.S. only) or 1-614-890-4700.

Cancellation Policy

ACerS reserves the right to cancel a course up to 4 weeks before the scheduled presentation date. Please contact ACerS customer service at 1-866-721-3322 (U.S. only) or 1-614-890-4700 to confirm that the course is happening before purchasing your airline tickets. ACerS is not responsible for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or the cancellation/change fees associated with canceling a flight.