Recovery of mechanical strength as a function of heat-treatment temperature and time was investigated in α-Al2O3-based hybrid materials containing with 5 vol% dispersed Ni nanoparticles (nano-Ni/Al 2O3) via fraction of surface crack disappearance. Surface cracks introduced by Vickers indentation disappeared completely because of the oxidation product NiAl2O4. Bending strengths of as-sintered and as-cracked samples were 490±58 and 180±15 MPa, respectively. Heat-treatment at 1000 °C for 1 h resulted in recovery of bending strength up to 550±190 MPa with 10% fraction of crack disappearance. The bending strength of samples heat-treated at higher temperatures or for longer durations was comparable with that of the as-sintered samples. Bending strength reached and remained at approximately 604 MPa when the fraction of surface crack disappearance was over 55%. As-recovered samples did not fracture at the surface cracks during the three-point bending test. Thus, recovery of mechanical strength was achieved by partial disappearance of the surface cracks. This observed recovery of mechanical strength was caused by a reduction in stress concentration at crack-tips covered with NiAl 2O4 formed from Ni2- along grain boundaries of the Al2O3 matrix.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry