Journal of the European Ceramic Society vol:25 issue:16 pages:3629-3637
In this paper, a strategy is described to develop high toughness yttria-stabilised tetragonal zirconia polycrystalline (Y-TZP) composites reinforced with hard TiB2 particles. The experimental results revealed that fully dense Y-TZP composites with 30 vol.% TiB2, can be obtained with a moderate hardness of 13 GPa, a high strength up to 1280 MPa and an excellent indentation toughness up to 10 MPa m(1/2) by hot pressing in vacuum at 1450 degrees C. The toughness of the composites can be tailored between 4 and 10 MPa m(1/2) by varying the yttria stabiliser content of the ZrO2 matrix between 3 and 2 mol%. An optimum composite toughness was achieved for a ZrO2, matrix with an overall yttria content of 2.5 mol%, obtained by mixing pure monoclinic and 3 mol% Y2O3 co-precipitated ZrO2, starting powders. An important observation is that the thermal residual tensile stress in the ZrO2 matrix due to the TiB2 addition, needs to be taken into account when optimising the transformability of the ZrO2 matrix in order to develop high toughness Y-TZP composites. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.