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Microstructural Investigation of the Aging Behavior of (3Y-TZP)–Al2O3 Composites

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The low-temperature autoclave aging behavior of zirconia-toughened alumina composites processed by a classical powder mixing processing route was analyzed using atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The transformation was evaluated in terms of nucleation and growth, assessed by XRD. The time–temperature equivalency of the transformation was used to measure an apparent activation energy of the nucleation stage of the transformation of 78 kJ/mol. The microstructural features influencing the transformation were identified, and the influence of the alumina matrix on the transformation was investigated. Transformation progression grain by grain was observed by AFM. Transformation does not only occur in zirconia agglomerates but also in isolated zirconia grains. The matrix could partially inhibit the transformation. This behavior could be rationalized considering the constraining effect of the alumina matrix, shape strain accommodation arguments, and microstructural homogeneity effects.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Institute of Applied Science, Materials Department (GEMPPM-INSA), Associate Research Unit 5510, 69621 Villeurbanne, France 2: Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM), CSIC, Cantoblanco 28049, Madrid, Spain 3: Instituto Nacional del Carbón CSIC, C/Francisco Pintado Fe, 26, 33011 Oviedo, Spain

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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