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Influence of the Y2O3 Content and Temperature on the Mechanical Properties of Melt-Grown Al2O3–ZrO2 Eutectics

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The effect of Y2O3 content on the flexure strength of melt-grown Al2O3–ZrO2 eutectics was studied in a temperature range of 25°–1427°C. The processing conditions were carefully controlled to obtain a constant microstructure independent of Y2O3 content. The rod microstructure was made up of alternating bands of fine and coarse dispersions of irregular ZrO2 platelets oriented along the growth axis and embedded in the continuous Al2O3 matrix. The highest flexure strength at ambient temperature was found in the material with 3 mol% Y2O3 in relation to ZrO2(Y2O3). Higher Y2O3 content did not substantially modify the mechanical response; however, materials with 0.5 mol% presented a significant degradation in the flexure strength because of the presence of large defects. They were nucleated at the Al2O3–ZrO2 interface during the martensitic transformation of ZrO2 on cooling and propagated into the Al2O3 matrix driven by the tensile residual stresses generated by the transformation. The material with 3 mol% Y2O3 retained 80% of the flexure strength at 1427°C, whereas the mechanical properties of the eutectic with 0.5 mol% Y2O3 dropped rapidly with temperature as a result of extensive microcracking.
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Keywords: aluminum oxide; eutectics; yttria

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Materials Science, Polytechnic University of Madrid, E. T. S. de Ingenieros de Caminos, 28040 Madrid, Spain 2: Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Aragón, C. S. I. C., Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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