Sintering, microstructure and mechanical properties of Al2O3-Y2O3-ZrO2 (AYZ) eutectic composition ceramic microcomposites

C. Oelgardt, J. Anderson, J. G. Heinrich, G. L. Messing

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We report on how the mechanical properties of sintered ceramics (i.e., a random mixture of equiaxed grains) with the Al2O3-Y2O3-ZrO2 eutectic composition compare with those of rapidly or directionally solidified Al2O3-Y2O3-ZrO2 eutectic melts. Ceramic microcomposites with the Al2O3-Y2O3-ZrO2 eutectic composition were fabricated by sintering in air at 1400-1500 °C, or hot pressing at 1300-1400 °C. Fully dense, three phase composites of Al2O3, Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 and YAG with grain sizes ranging from 0.4 to 0.8 μm were obtained. The grain size of the three phases was controlled by the size of the initial powders. Annealing at 1500 °C for 96 h resulted in grain sizes of 0.5-1.8 μm. The finest scale microcomposite had a maximum hardness of 19 GPa and a four-point bend strength of 282 MPa. The fracture toughness, as determined by Vickers indentation and indented four-point bending methods, ranged from 2.3 to 4.7 MPa m1/2. Although strengths and fracture toughnesses are lower than some directionally or rapidly solidified eutectic composites, the intergranular fracture patterns in the sintered ceramic suggest that ceramic microcomposites have the potential to be tailored to yield stronger, tougher composites that may be comparable with melt solidified eutectic composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-656
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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