Preparation of Ln-α-Sialon Powders and Sintering Behavior
Various Ln- α -Sialon (where Ln=yttrium and lanthanide elements) powders were prepared by reacting mixtures of amorphous Si3N4, AlN, Al2O3 and Ln2O3 powders at high temperatures. The x-value in the chemical formula of Lnx (Si, Al)12 (O,N) 16 was determined by the Rietveld analysis of the X-ray diffraction pattern and was found to increase with decreasing radii of Ln3+ ions. Pressureless sintering of the mixttires of Ln-α-Sialon and α -Si3N4 powders was performed and highly dense Ln-SiALON-based ceramics were obtained. Bending strength of Ln-Sialon-based ceramics was increased with decreasing radii of Ln3+ ions. It was concluded that thermo-mechanical properties of Sialon-based materials could be much improved by the selection of Ln elements.
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