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Dependence of fracture energy of ceramic on loading condition?

Literature suggests that the fracture strength of the ceramic tends to be higher in a dynamic loading condition than in static condition. This relates to the increase in the fracture energy in dynamic processes. Literature refers to an inelastic response prior to failure (Hugoniot elastic limit) the reason behind increased strength. Can anyone explain the phenomenon in a more lucid way, or guide me to an appropriate reference to understand this? Also all the experiments are carried out for bulk samples, with grains size greater than (2 microns) samples, what will happen if the sample dimensions are very small (around 20-30 microns), i.e lesser number of grains? Will this phenomenon be still applicable? 

Reference: http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v5/n8/abs/nmat1689.html

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