The mechanical properties and phase transformation behavior of carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced 3 mol% yttria-stabilized zirconia (3YSZ) composites prepared by spark plasma sintering are reported for CNT contents between 0 and 7 wt%. CNTs are shown to improve the fracture toughness of the material by a combination of fiber pull-out and crack-bridging toughening mechanisms. Stress release by these mechanisms results in a smaller proportion of the YSZ matrix transforming from the tetragonal to monoclinic phase, reducing the microcracking that would otherwise result from cumulative volume expansion associated with this well-known phase transformation process. This produces a material with high fracture toughness without compromising hardness, thereby providing superior mechanical reliability. The high fracture toughness (7.0 MPa m1/2) of the 7 wt% CNT/3YSZ composite makes it an attractive material for high-impact, high-temperature applications such as environmental barrier coatings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry