Materials Science and Engineering A, Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processing vol:370 issue:1-2 pages:453-458
In this paper, a commercial liquid phase sintered silicon nitride with Y2O3 and Al2O3 additives is investigated. The material is characterised by a large, and stable, internal friction peak near H 50 degreesC. The peak is linked with the glass transition in intergranular amorphous volumes, whose presence is confirmed with transmission electron microscopy. An estimate of the volume fraction of the amorphous phase is calculated from the difference in stiffness below and above the glass transition temperature. The procedure relies on accurate Young's modulus data, which were obtained with the impulse excitation technique (IET). The amount of amorphous pocket phase was estimated at 12.4 vol.%. For the first time, microstructural evidence supporting this estimate is obtained, using analysis of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. The rather large amount of amorphous matter explains the limited high temperature potential of the material, which was primarily and successfully developed for wear applications. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.