This paper describes an ongoing investigation into understanding the fatigue degradation of piezoceramic materials. The focus of this study is to evaluate large stresses developed between dissimilar oriented domains and their relationship to the nature and mechanics of crack initiation. An innovative specimen configuration is proposed to accelerate the fatigue test that typically takes months to perform. The specimens contain a notch separating polarized regions engineered at the macroscopic level. The specimens are electrically cycled under quasi-linear condition introducing local polarization reversal and domain wall motion. The notch is closely monitored for crack initiation and degradation of piezoelectric coefficients and permittivity is recorded. Results indicate that cracks develop in the material on both the macro and micro levels between dissimilar poled regions. It is believed that crack shielding of the electric field results in property degradation.

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