Microstructure and toughness of seeded hot-pressed Si3N4 ceramics
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Densification, phase transformation and fracture toughness were studied in hot-pressed Si3N4 seeded by in-house produced large, elongated beta-Si3N4 seeds. A mixture of Y2O3-Al2O3 was used as the sintering aid. Concentration of seeds were varied from 0 to 6 wt pct and the sintering time at 1700 degreesC was varied from 1 to 4 h. Maximum fracture toughness of 9.0 MPam(1/2) was measured in samples containing 5 wt pct seeds, hot pressed at 1700 degreesC for 4 h.