Chemical Engineering and Processing, Vol.122, 404-412, 2017
Effects of microwave sintering in aging resistance of zirconia-based ceramics
Innovative techniques for materials processing that result in shorter times and lower energy consumption than conventional methods, such as microwave sintering, are currently under investigation in order to obtain fully-consolidated ceramic materials. Microwave sintering has important effects on the resulting properties of zirconia-based ceramics, which, in turn, affect its performance and durability, as in the case of their susceptibility to low temperature hydrothermal degradation (LTD), an ageing phenomenon that deteriorates their mechanical performance. The purpose of this work consists on assessing the effects of microwave sintering on the microstructure and mechanical performance of zirconia composites by comparing it to conventional sintering. Resistance to LTD of 3Y-TZP-only materials has also been evaluated. The results obtained in this work suggest that microwave sintering can reduce processing times and sintering temperatures when compared to conventional sintering while still obtaining dense zirconia-based ceramics and complying with the expected mechanical properties. At the same time, an increase in the resistance to LTD is also observed. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.