A study was made of the effects of whisker content and dimensions on the R-
curve behavior of an alumina matrix composite reinforced with silicon carbi
de whiskers. Experiments showed that the rising R-curve behavior is strongl
y enhanced by the increase in the volume fraction and the size of whiskers.
Simulation based on a model of crack face whisker bridgings was made to el
ucidate the effects on the R-curve of the composite. The validity of the si
mulation was confirmed by good agreement between the experimental and the c
alculated R-curves. In addition to the R-curve, the distribution of crack c
losure stresses as well as crack tip opening displacements was also calcula
ted, which directly reflects crack face whisker bridging processes in the c
omposite. Then the dependence of whisker content and dimensions on the R-cu
rve was analytically discussed taking the bridging processes into account.