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In Situ Neutron Diffraction Study of a Liquid Nitrogen-Quenched Mg-PSZ Under Load: A Microcrack-Dominated System?

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The mechanical response of liquid nitrogen-quenched 9.4 Mg-PSZ in which the orthorhombic (o) phase is the major constituent (46 wt%) was investigated using in-situ neutron diffraction during uniaxial compression. The material remains elastic below 1 GPa with a Young's modulus of∼242 GPa, second highest of all zirconia-based materials and highest of all zirconia-based ceramics. Beyond 1 GPa, the material develops small plastic strains in a time-dependent manner (i.e., by room temperature creep) although the strains were generally much smaller than the unquenched material, which contains no o phase. As for standard Mg-PSZ, the creep was accompanied by a volume change usually indicative of tetragonal to monoclinic (m) phase transformation; however, the amount of m phase apparent in the neutron diffraction patterns increased only marginally. The magnitude of the volume increase could not be accounted for by the observed increase in the m phase and hence, microcracking is believed to be responsible for most of the volume change. There is some evidence for a small amount of o to m transformation at the detection limit of the phase analysis technique.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia

Publication date: September 1, 2005


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