Mullite, a conventional refractory material, was observed to exhibit a peculiar nano-order fragmentation accompanying a phase transition induced by a shock wave. We propose a mechanism for this nanofragmentation, based on a comparative study of mullite-related materials. The microtextures of the mullite-related materials were affected by their initial crystal structure and chemical composition, indicating that oxygen vacancies in the crystal structure play an important role in the nanofragmentation. The results of the present study will help enable the deliberate control of the physical and mechanical properties of materials during high-velocity impact.
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