Plasticity of nanocrystalline zirconia ceramics and composites

A.J.A. Winnubst, M.M.R. Boutz, Y. He, A.J. Burggraaf, H. Verweij

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The deformation strain rate of nanocrystalline Y-TZP shows an increase by a factor 4 if the grain size decreases from 200 to 100 nm. Real superplastic deformation (strain rate > 10−4 s−1) is observed in these materials at relative low temperature (1100–1200 °C). Grain-boundary analysis indicates (partial) removal of an ultra-thin (1 nm), yttrium-rich grain boundary layer after deformation. Uniaxial pressure-assisted sintering techniques (=sinter-forging) provide the opportunity of large shear strains during densification. Sinter-forging experiments on zirconia-toughened alumina (15 wt% ZrO2/85 wt% Al2O3) resulted in a dense composite within 15 min at 1400 °C and 40 MPa, with effective shear strains up to 100%. Sinter-forging of Y-TZP and ZTA gives an increase in strength, reliability and fracture toughness. These improvements are caused by the large shear strains that result from the removal of processing flaws. Also, the number of microcraks at the grain boundaries and the interatomic spacing between the grains are reduced by the forging techniques, resulting in a strengthening of the grain boundaries if compared with pressureless sintering. K1C values of 10 MPa√m are obtained for Y-TZP, while no classical stress-induced phase transformation toughening is observed. Sinter-forged ZTA samples showed a better wear resistance than free sintered ones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalCeramics international
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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