Densification and Mechanical Properties of Alumina Ceramics via Two-Step Sintering With Different Holding Times
The densification and mechanical properties of alumina ceramics were investigated via two-step sintering (TSS) with different holding time. The alumina ceramics were sintered at 1450 Â°C for 1 min during the first stage, followed by sintering at 1350 Â°C with different holding times (2-24h). Conventional sintering (CS) was also performed on the alumina ceramics at 1450 Â°C for 2 h for comparison purpose. It was found that dense alumina with a relative density above 98% could be attained when TSS with a holding time of more than 12 h. The samples exhibited Vickers hardness between 5-8 GPa and fracture toughness of about 6 MPa.m1/2. In contrast, conventional sintered alumina yielded low relative density (85%), large grain size (2 Î¼m), low Vickers hardness (4.23 GPa) and fracture toughness (4.73 MPa.m1/2). This study revealed that TSS is a viable approach in aiding densification, suppressing grain growth, and improving the mechanical properties of alumina ceramics.
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