Toughening of zirconia/alumina composites by the addition of graphene platelets

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  • Queen Mary, University of London


A study on graphene platelet/zirconia-toughened alumina (GPL/ZTA) composites was carried out to evaluate the potential of the new structural materials. GPL-ZrO -Al O powders were obtained by ball milling of graphene platelets and alumina powders using yttria stabilized ZrO balls. Samples were sintered at different temperatures using spark plasma sintering. Fracture toughness was determined by the single-edge notched beam method. The results show that the GPLs are uniformly distributed in the ceramic matrix and have survived high temperature sintering processes. Several sintering experiments were carried out. It is found that at 1550°C, GPL/ZTA composites were obtained with nearly full density, maximum hardness and fracture toughness. A 40% increase in fracture toughness in the ZTA composite has been achieved by adding graphene platelets. The toughening mechanisms, such as pull out, bridging and crack deflection, were observed and are discussed.

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Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4185-4193
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012