Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 19, pp 6376–6384 | Cite as

Preparation of nano-grained zirconia ceramics by low-temperature, low-pressure spark plasma sintering

  • Michihito Muroi
  • Geoff Trotter
  • Paul G. McCormick
  • Masakazu Kawahara
  • Masao Tokita
Proceedings of the Symposium on Spark Plasma Synthesis and Sintering


Ce- and/or Y-doped zirconia nanopowders having average particle sizes ranging 12–18 nm have been synthesized by a technique based on mechanochemical processing (MCP). Despite their small particle size, the powders had excellent compactibility with green densities exceeding 50% achieved under a moderate uniaxial pressure of 150 MPa. Nearly fully dense ceramics having grain sizes of around 100 nm were successfully produced from these powders by spark plasma sintering (SPS) at temperatures of 1,050–1,150 °C for 5 min under pressures of 50–80 MPa; these temperatures and pressures are considerably lower than those required for achieving near full density with conventional nanopowders. Hardness and fracture-toughness measurements showed that the ceramics prepared by SPS had superior mechanical properties to those prepared by conventional pressureless sintering. It is argued that the high sinterability of the MCP nanopowders is ascribed to their ability to form uniform powder compacts under relatively low pressure, and that that ability in turn originates in two features of the MCP powders: absence of hard agglomeration and pseudo-spherical particle morphology.


Zirconia Spark Plasma Sinter Full Density Tetragonal Zirconia Superior Mechanical Property 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michihito Muroi
    • 1
  • Geoff Trotter
    • 1
  • Paul G. McCormick
    • 1
  • Masakazu Kawahara
    • 2
  • Masao Tokita
    • 2
  1. 1.Advanced Nanotechnology LimitedWelshpoolAustralia
  2. 2.SPS Syntex Inc.Kawasaki-shiJapan

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