Nanotechnology researchers improve mechanical properties of ceramics

(Nanowerk News) Researchers from Iran University of Science and Technology in association with researchers from EPFL University in Switzerland and University of Stockholm, Sweden, used nanotechnology to increase fracture toughness of ceramic bodies up to three times ("High/room temperature mechanical properties of 3Y-TZP/CNTs composites").
The product has very desirable mechanical properties and has applications in advanced industries such as aerospace, electronics, and biomedical engineering.
Despite unique properties of ceramics, their fragility is a big problem for their application in various industries. High tensile strength, high ratio of length to diameter and other known properties of carbon nanotubes have convinced the researchers to use these nanostructures to strengthen the structure of various compounds as a solution to overcome the weakness of ceramics. In this research, efforts have been made to overcome the two main weak points of ceramics (that are fragility and low fracture toughness) by using carbon nanotubes, and in addition, to modify high temperature properties of zirconia bodies.
Ceramics produced through this method have useful multi-functional properties, including appropriate thermal, electrical, and biocompatibility properties. Production of ceramic bodies through the suggested method may be an important step towards solving the problems in ceramic implants and thermal devices used in various industries.
Mechanism of improving fracture toughness in the presence of carbon nanotubes can be defined as bridging of nanotubes on the opening of fracture and preventing the growth of fracture, taking out the nanotube from the background (a parameter in fracture energy consumption) and fracture deviation (increasing the path of fracture and consequently increasing the toughness).
Source: INIC
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