SiC Particle and Y-TZP Reinforced Mullite Matrix Composites
Mullite(M) matrix composites reinforced by both SiC particles(P) and Y-TZP(yttria stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystal) were fabricated by hot-pressing. The relationship between microstructure and properties of the composite, reinforcing mechanism and effects were investigated. The effect combined by both SiC particles and Y-TZP on improving the mechanical properties appears to be additive or synergetic. The reinforcing mechanism of the composites are mainly crack deflection and crack branching caused by SiC particles, and microcrack toughening by the addition of Y-TZP. The strength of the composites almost keeps constant from room temperature to 1000°C. The thermal shock resistance of the composites has been significantly improved. The abiabatic engine piston caps made of SiC(p)/Y-TZP/M composite have still kept intact and undamage after the bench run testing for over 100 hrs. It has been indicated that the SiC(P)/Y-TZP/M composites are a potential candidate as thermal insulating structural components for heat engines.
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