Flash sintering of a three‐phase alumina, spinel, and yttria‐stabilized zirconia composite
Three‐phase ceramic composites constituted from equal volume fractions of α‐Al2O3, MgAl2O4 spinel, and cubic 8 mol% Y2O3‐stabilized ZrO2 (8YSZ) were flash‐sintered under the influence of DC electric fields. The temperature for the onset of rapid densification (flash sintering) was measured using a constant heating rate at fields of 50‐500 V/cm. The experiments were carried out by heating the furnace at a constant rate. Flash sintering occurred at a furnace temperature of 1350°C at a field of 100 V/cm, which dropped to 1150°C at a field of 500 V/cm. The sintered densities ranged from 90% to 96%. Higher electric fields inhibited grain growth due to the lowering of the flash temperature and an accelerated sintering rate. During flash sintering, alumina reacted with the spinel phase to form a high‐alumina spinel solid solution, identified by electron dispersive spectroscopy and from a decrease in the spinel lattice parameter as measured by X‐ray diffraction. It is proposed that the solid solution reaction was promoted by a combination of electrical field and Joule heating.
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