Some Features and Limitations of Zirconia Toughened Nitrogen Ceramics

  • Y. Cheng
  • C. O’Meara
  • S. Slasor
  • R. Pompe
  • D. P. Thompson


It has previously been assumed that good toughness can be achieved in silicon nitride based ceramics up to moderate temperatures through the addition of small amounts of zirconia particles to the ceramic matrix, providing the crystalline structure of the zirconia is partially stabilized. However, in all reactions involving the partially stabilized zirconia and silicon nitride in a nitrogen atmosphere, the non-transformable tetragonal zirconia (t’) phase forms by dissolution of small amounts of nitrogen and simultaneous introduction of oxygen vacancies in the crystal structure. The increasing numbers of vacant sites in the anion lattice produces additional stabilization to the zirconia and consequently tm-ZrO2 transformation is prevented. The effect of nitrogen dissolution in zirconia is clearly evidenced in zirconia containing O’ and O’-β’ composites. As a result, no significant improvement in toughness is observed although the tetragonal zirconia phase is present in the samples.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    N. Claussen and J. Jahn, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 61(1-2)94, 1978Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    T. Ekström, L.K.L. Falk and J. Mater. Sci. Lett., 9,823, 1990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    T. Ekstrom, J. Mater. Sci., private communication 1990Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    K. Rundgren, Ph.D thesis, Chalmers Univ. Techn., Göteborg, 1988Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    V. Lanteri, R. Chaim and A.H. Heuer, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 69,C–258, 1986CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    L.K.L. Falk & M. Holmstrom, Euro-Ceramics, Vol.1, ed. by G. de With et al., p.373, 1989Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    F.F. Lange, L.L.L. Falk & B.I. Davis, J. Mater. Res., 2(1)66, 1987CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Y. Cheng and D.P. Thompson, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 74(5) 1991Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Y. Cheng and D.P. Thompson, J. Mater. Sci. Lett., 9,24, 1990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Y. Cheng and D.P. Thompson, Special Ceramics 9, to be publishedGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    A.K. Tjernlund, R. Pompe, M. Holmstrom and R. Carlsson, Special Ceramics 8, Brit. Ceram. Proc. 37, 29, 1986Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    N. Claussen et al., J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 61(7-8)369, 1978CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd and MPA Stuttgart 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Cheng
    • 1
  • C. O’Meara
    • 2
  • S. Slasor
    • 3
  • R. Pompe
    • 4
  • D. P. Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Newcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Chalmers University of TechnologySweden
  3. 3.Cookson Group plc.UK
  4. 4.Swedish Ceramic InstituteSweden

Personalised recommendations