Grain-size dependence of sliding wear in tetragonal zirconia polycrystals

Yingjie He, Louis Winnubst, Anthonie J. Burggraaf, Henk Verweij, Paul G.Th. van der Varst, Bert de With

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Using a pin-on-plate tribometer with the reciprocating motion of SiC against yttria-doped tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (Y-TZP) plates, the friction and wear of Y-TZP ceramics were investigated as a function of grain size in dry N2 at room temperature. The results showed that the overall wear resistance increased as the grain size of Y-TZP ceramics decreased. For grain sizes ≤0.7 μm, the wear results revealed a Hall-Petch type of relationship (d−1/2) between wear resistance and grain size. In this case, the main wear mechanisms were plastic deformation and microcracking. For grain sizes ≥0.9 μm, the wear resistance was proportional to the reciprocal of the grain diameter. In this regime, delamination and accompanying grain pullout were the main mechanisms. In this case, the phase transformation to monoclinic zirconia had a negative effect on the wear resistance of TZP ceramics. The coefficient of friction tended to be higher for fine-grained TZP-SiC couples than for coarse-grained TZP-SiC couples, whereas, for a specific regime of grain size, the coefficient of friction was almost independent of the grain size.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3090-3096
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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