Microstructure

Partially stabilized zirconia (PSZ) has multiphase microstructure consisting of two different morphologies. The stress induced transformation of part of the tetragonal phase to monoclinic zirconia gives rise to superior mechanical properties. Various routes are available for generation of these structures. Low particle size and high purity of the zirconia are needed together with a precise level of stabilizer. I.K. Engineering A.S./l.K. Technology A.S. (IKE/lKT) has performed transmission electron microscopy (TEH) revealing that an amorphous silicon rich phase is present in the grain boundaries. The grain sizes are in the range of 0.02-0.05 um and significantly affect the t—> m transformation temperature. Both grain size and amount of transformation affect the fracture toughness of PSZ coatings.

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