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The effect of heating schedule on microstructure and fracture resistance has been investigated in single-phase Nd-, Y-, and Yb-α-SiAlON. Such effect is strongly system dependent, reflecting the strong influence of phase stability on α-SiAON nucleation and the amount of transient/residual liquid during processing. The addition of 1% of α-SiAlON seeds to the starting powders nearly completely obliterates such effect, while it simultaneously improves microstructure homogeneity and fracture resistance. SENB toughness of 7 MPa∙m1/2 and peak R-curve toughness of ~11 MPa∙m1/2 have been obtained for seeded Y-α-SiAlON ceramics using heating rates from 1oC/min to 25oC/min.
Date Posted: 03 December 2004
This document has been peer reviewed.