Ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) play a crucial role in applications demanding a combination of lightweight and high-resistance to impact loading. The interfacial bonding between reinforcement grains and the matrix can significantly influence the overall mechanical properties of such materials, including energy dissipation and fracture resistance. Well-designed interfacial bonds contribute to the materials’ ability to withstand dynamic loading, impact, and deformation by facilitating mechanisms that dissipate energy and prevent catastrophic failure. Consequently, it becomes imperative to analyze how interfacial bonding influences the materials’ energy dissipation capabilities.
In this research, a mesoscale computational framework based on the cohesive finite element method (CFEM) for predicting dynamic fracture, fragmentation, contact, and interfacial friction under high-rate impact loading is employed. The model captures the effects of microstructure constituent distribution, intergranular and transgranular fracture, and friction between crack faces. Analysis is carried out with a CMC system consisting of TiB2 reinforcement particles embedded in an Al2O3 matrix. To account for random variations in microstructure morphologies, statistically equivalent microstructures sample sets (SEMSS) are generated and analyzed. The model is calibrated using real TiB2/Al2O3 microstructure morphologies and results of corresponding impact experiments. The effects of the TiB2-Al2O3 interfacial strength on the overall energy dissipation are systematically delineated by parametrically varying the strength within a defined range. The results obtained demonstrate that a weaker TiB2-Al2O3 interface yields a higher energy dissipation, with the specific influences of the TiB2-Al2O3 interface strength on different types of dissipation (fracture vs friction) and fracture sites (within Al2O3, within TiB2, or along TiB2-Al2O3 interfaces) vary and dependent on the intensity of impact loading.