Microstructural characterization of alumina-zirconia layered ceramics using positron annihilation spectroscopy

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Positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS), indentation, nanoindentation experiments and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations were performed on Al₂O₃-ZrO₂ laminates samples to assess the effect of residual stresses on their mechanical and microstructural properties. Layered samples were implemented by slip-casting, constituted by two thin Al₂O₃ external layers and an intermediate thick one, consisting of a mixture of Al₂O₃ and monoclinic ZrO₂ in the range 0-30 vol.%. In these systems residual tensile stresses fields were generated inside the external layers during cooling from the sintering temperature, by the expansion of the adjacent ZrO₂-containing layer. SEM observations showed the microstructural effects due to the level of tension related to the zirconia content. A correlation between the PAS parameters and the microstructural changes caused by the presence of residual stresses was found. Nanoindentation measurements were used to trace the sign and magnitude of the residual stress gradient across the interface between the layers.
Residual stresses, Ceramics, Multilayers, Positron annihilation, Nanoindentation
Bibliographic citation
Acta Materialia (2010), 58 (8) 3014–3021