1.75 mol % Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2-based composites with 35-95 vol % TiN were fully densified by hot pressing for 1 hour at 1550°C under a load of 28 MPa. The TiN grain size was found to increase with increasing TiN content, resulting in a decreasing hardness and strength. The best mechanical properties, i.e., an indentation toughness of 5.9 MPa.m1/2 in combination with a Vickers hardness of 14.7 GPa and an excellent bending strength of 1674 MPa were obtained for the composites with 40 vol % TiN. The active toughening mechanisms were identified and their contribution to the overall composite toughness is discussed. Transformation toughening was found to be the primary toughening mechanism in all investigated composites.
S. Salehi et al., "ZrO2-TiN Composites", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 554, pp. 135-140, 2007