Surface mechanical properties of alumina matrix nanocomposites

M. Sternitzke, E. Dupas, P. Twigg, B. Derby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We have examined the surface properties of alumina/silicon carbide nanocomposites containing 5 vol.% SiC particles of 4 different size distributions with mean particle size from 12 to 115 nm. In all cases the nanocomposites were more resistant to a severe erosive wear environment than monolithic alumina of similar grain size. The resistance to wear increases with decreasing SiC particle size. We have measured the damage introduced to these ceramics during lapping and polishing by three techniques: counting surface flaws visible to an optical microscope, measuring surface elastic constants using an acoustic microscope, and determining surface crack sizes using a Hertzian indentation technique. Surface observation and Hertzian indentation show the nanocomposites to have both a smaller mean defect size and fewer large defects than similar grain size alumina. This is supported by our acoustic microscope results which show a lower level of surface damage in the nanocomposites after a given lapping or polishing process. © 1997 Acta Metallurgica Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3963-3973
    Number of pages10
    JournalActa Materialia
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997


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