Evaluation of critical strain for crack nucleation of magnesium di-boride superconductor using indentation method


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


To fulfill the promises of MgB2 and MgB2-xC x in superconducting electrical transportation, the components made by these materials need to undergo plastic work process, for which the knowledge of their mechanical behavior (i.e. elastoplastic and strength properties) is critical. This study proposes the use of a convenient method based on indentation to evaluate both the elastoplastic and strength properties of MgB2 and MgB2-xCx. Through the reverse analysis using dual sharp indenters, we first extract the yield stress and work hardening exponent quantitatively. Next, the critical stress for crack nucleation (fracture strength) is estimated from a combination of experiment and numerical simulation of indentation stress field using the deduced elastoplastic properties. The critical fracture strain of MgB2 is evaluated to be reasonably close to that from conventional tensile test. We further show that in MgB2-xCx, the material stiffness, yield stress and fracture strength are degraded due to carbon additive, while the work hardening exponent is slightly higher. Therefore, the addition of C does not improve the mechanical properties of MgB2. The findings shed some useful light on the workability of MgB2, and may become a basis for understanding the feasibility of fabrication and usage of superconductor (where the mechanical and electrical properties are coupled).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-535
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials Chemistry and Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The work of A.Y. is supported in part of Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientist of (B) (No. 22760077) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, and Support for International Technical Exchange of TEPCO Research Foundation. The work of X.C. is supported in part by National Science Foundation CMMI0407743 and CMMI-CAREER-0643726, by World Class University (WCU) program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant No. R32-2008-000-20042-0), and by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC Grant No. 50928601).


  • Elastoplastic property
  • Fracture property
  • Indentation method
  • Magnesium di-boride


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