Nacre-like alumina composites reinforced by zirconia particles

23 July 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Nacre-like alumina is a class of bio-inspired ceramic composite manufactured by field-assisted sintering of green bodies made primarily of alumina platelets with an anisotropic microstructure. Here we investigate the addition of zirconia particles to enhance the mechanical properties of the composite. The resulting structure is a nacre- like anisotropic structure which features deflection and reinforcement during crack propagation. Monoclinic zirconia has no impact on the mechanical properties of the composite while tetragonal zirconia improves its fracture resistance properties. Both types of zirconia seem to slow down grain growth during sintering. The addition of zirconia stabilised in the tetragonal phase is thus a good option to obtain a composite with a fine microstructure and higher mechanical properties than a standard nacre-like alumina, with a flexural strength of 626 ± 39 MPa and a crack initiation toughness of 6.1 ± 0.6 MPa.m0.5.


nacre-like alumina
field assisted sintering
mechanical properties
ceramic processing
bioinspired materials


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