, Volume 36, Issue 12, pp 3003-3010

Thermal conductivity of dense and porous yttria-stabilized zirconia

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The thermal conductivity of dense and porous yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) ceramics has been measured as a function of temperature in the range 25 to 1000 °C. The dense specimens were either single crystal (8 mol% YSZ) or sintered polycrystalline (3 mol% and 8 mol% YSZ). The porous specimens (3 mol% YSZ) were prepared using the “fugitive” polymer method, where different amounts of polymer spheres (of two different average sizes) were included in the starting powders before sintering. This method yielded materials with uniformly distributed porosities with a tight pore-size distributions. A theory has been developed to describe the thermal conductivity of dense YSZ as a function of temperature. This theory considers the reduction in the intrinsic thermal conductivity due scattering of phonons by point defects (oxygen vacancies and solute) and by the “hopping” of oxygen vacancies. It also considers an increase in the effective thermal conductivity at high temperatures due to radiation. This theory captures the essential features of the observed thermal conductivity. The Maxwell theory has been used to analyze the thermal conductivity of the porous materials. An adequate agreement was found between the theory and experiment.