Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 2711–2721 | Cite as

Fabrication and characterization of zirconia-toughened alumina obtained by inorganic and organic precursors

  • J. P. Bach
  • F. Thevenot


In zirconia-toughened alumina (ZTA) the martensitic transformation of zirconia (tetragonal→ monoclinic) is at the origin of toughening. If the zirconia particles have a mean grain size less thand’c, they remain tetragonal; if their size is betweend’c anddc (dc>d’c), they are stress-induced transformed into the monoclinic form; if their size is larger thandc, particles are transformed. We prepared ZTA using different precursors and compared their microstructures. The coprecipitation of aluminium and zirconium chlorides gives an hydroxide mixture. Thus the zirconium hydrate is amorphous, and the aluminium hydroxide structure varies with the precipitation temperature and pH values at the end of the neutralization. Alumina is mixed with zirconia obtained by gas-phase reaction. Zirconia is prepared by vaporization of zirconium chloride in an oxygen-hydrogen flame. Alumina powder is impregnated by a zirconium acetate solution. Zirconium acetate is thermally decomposed in a spray-dryer, then by calcination. The cohydrolysis of II Al-butoxide and IV Zr-propoxide was carried out in an alkaline solution. The hydrolysis pH (10 or 12) changes the grain size of the oxide powders. Mechanical property measurements and microstructural analysis allow a comparison of the different composites. The mean grain-size evolution differs according to the preparative route, and may be varied by different elaboration parameters. Fine microstructures were always observed. The mean grain size of dispersed zirconia being very small (neard’c), we observed a little influence of transformation toughening. We noticed a large increase in rupture strength, while toughness was not noticeably improved.


Zirconia Aluminium Hydroxide Acetate Solution Organic Precursor Zirconia Particle 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Bach
    • 1
  • F. Thevenot
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecole des MinesSaint-Etienne Cédex 2France

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