To investigate the relationship between micro-defects in ceramic materials and macro mechanical properties and behaviours, a computational model of SiC ceramics with randomly oriented elliptical pores was established using the discrete element method (DEM). The effects of pore defect content and its aspect ratio on the failure mode, stress-strain curve and mechanical properties of specimen were investigated under uniaxial compression. The effective Young’s modulus which was obtained from DEM simulations was compared with the predictions of Mori-Tanaka scheme (MTS) and Self-Consistent scheme (SCS) at various pore defect densities. The results showed that the compressive strength and crack initiation stress decrease nonlinearly as the pore defect content increases. Furthermore, the smaller the aspect ratio of the elliptical pore defects was, the more obvious the weakening trend was. As the pore defect content increases, the failure mode of the specimen changed from brittle fracture to tensile-shear mixing and then to axial splitting. The stress-strain curves showed a certain “softening” period during the loading process. The effective Young’s modulus obtained from the DEM simulations coincides with the approximations of MTS and SCS at low pore densities. However, when the pore defect density became larger, the DEM simulation results were slightly lower than the theoretical results of the Mori-Tanaka scheme, which only considers the weak interaction between defects.
Keywords: Pore defect, Uniaxial compression, Mechanical properties, Discrete element method,