Journal of Materials Science, Vol.31, No.18, 4847-4852, 1996
Toughening Mechanisms and Properties of Mullite Matrix Composites Reinforced by the Addition of SiC Particles and Y-TZP
Mullite matrix composites reinforced by SiC particles and Y-TZP, were fabricated by hot-pressing. The effects of adding SiC particles and Y-TZP to mullite or mullite-based materials on properties and toughening mechanisms in the composites were investigated. Crack deflection is proposed as the principal toughening mechanism, produced by the addition of SIC particles. Transformation and microcrack toughening are the two main toughening mechanisms caused by Y-TZP addition. However, the magnitude of their contribution varied with increasing Y-TZP addition. With low Y-TZP addition, the transformation toughening dominated, while at a higher Y-TZP content, the microcrack toughening was dominant. The simultaneous addition of SiC particles and Y-TZP to mullite resulted in higher increases in both flexural strength and fracture toughness, than the simple sum of those obtained by the separate processes. It appears that the two toughening processes were coupled, thereby leading to synergistic toughening and strengthening effects in the mullite composites.