Name: Max Bennett

Supervisors: Florian Bouville and Finn Giuliani 

Interlocking mechanisms are in theory extremely effective at diffusing damages because it allows elements to slide but at the same time creates local crack-blocking compressive stresses in response to macroscopic crack-opening tensile stresses. The key objective of this thesis is to design an interfacial material to bind brittle micron-sized elements that provide toughening mechanisms at the nanometre scale. To develop any toughening mechanisms, the interfacial binder will have to break before the elements but then developed toughening mechanisms. In a first stage we will select an oxide-based composition, for its compatibility with the element composition, that could potentially deform plastically due to the high stresses level generated in between the elements at high temperatures. The material fracture will have to be measured in different crack opening modes to understand the link between interfacial material morphology, crystal plasticity, and element sliding.