Toughness Enhancement of Al2O3/Ce-TZP Functionally Graded Materials by Annealing in Inert Atmosphere
CeO2-stabilised ZrO2-based functionally graded materials (FGMs) can be successfully produced using electrophoretic deposition and pressureless sintering in air. A cylindrical Al2O3/ZrO2 FGM, for instance, shows an ideal structure for applications such as drill blanks. It has a central hole with a diameter less than 0.5 mm, a tough Ce-ZrO2 core with a diameter of about 3 mm, a gradient layer of about 1 mm, and a hard Al2O3-rich surface layer. The Ce-ZrO2 core shows a Vickers hardness between 10 and 11 GPa and an excellent toughness (>10 MPa m1/2). In the gradient layer, hardness and toughness vary continuously along the radius. The Al2O3-rich surface layer has a hardness of 15.2 GPa but a modest toughness of 2 MPa m1/2. Annealing experiments of the air-sintered FGM in inert atmosphere (Ar + 5 vol % N2) allows a significant toughness enhancement, especially in the surface layer (up to 8 MPa m1/2). The experimental results indicate that a proper controlled reduction of the Ce-TZP phase allows a modification of the toughness of the Ce-TZP phase. The influence of the annealing cycle on the properties of the FGM are reported and elucidated.
Omer Van der Biest, Michael Gasik, Jozef Vleugels
J. Vleugels et al., "Toughness Enhancement of Al2O3/Ce-TZP Functionally Graded Materials by Annealing in Inert Atmosphere ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 492-493, pp. 699-704, 2005