Correlation between fracture toughness and microstructure of seeded silicon nitride ceramics
Bošković, Snežana B.
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Microstructure development and fracture toughness of Si3N4 composites were studied in the presence of seeds and Al2O3 + Y2O3 as sintering aids. The elongated beta-Si3N4 seeds were introduced into two different alpha-Si3N4 matrix powders; one was the ultra fine powder matrix and the other was the coarse powder matrix. The amount of seeds varied from 0 to 6 wt%. The grain growth inhibition and the mechanism of toughening were discussed and correlated with microstructure. The maximum fracture toughness of 9.0 MPa m(1/2) was obtained for ultra fine powder with 5 wt% seeds hot pressed at 1,700 degrees C for 6 h.