Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Materials Science and Engineering
The creep rates of SiC whisker reinforced Al2 O3 have been found to be one or two orders of magnitude lower than the creep rate of unreinforced alumina. However, whiskers are a serious health hazard due to their asbestos-like geometry, they are expensive (thousands of dollars per kilogram), and they tend to get damaged during processing. Platelets have been proposed as an alternative to whiskers due to their reinforcement potential comparable to that of whiskers, forgiving geometry (with respect to safety), better thermal stability, lower price (hundreds of dollars per kilogram) and ease of processing. Up to now, research in platelet reinforced ceramics has concentrated mainly in room temperature properties and little is known about their high temperature mechanical properties. The aim of this work was to study the way in which different reinforcement network morphologies affect the creep behaviour of SiC-platelet/Al2 O3 composites and to determine the important deformation mechanisms at the studied temperature (1250°C). To this end, composites with different platelet volume fractions (0 to 30%) and orientation distributions were fabricated. The samples were subjected to flexure and compression creep tests and characterized using optical and electron microscopy, dilatometry, and neutron diffraction. The analysis of the creep behaviour was found to be complicated by the differences in impurity content in the samples and the increase in glass content with the platelets volume fraction. However, the results clearly indicate a strong influence of the reinforcement morphology on the creep properties. Special attention was given to an unusual time-dependent transition from high to low creep strain rate in some of the composites. The phenomenon was ascribed to the possible relief of bending strains in the platelets. In addition, some of the possible main mechanisms responsible for the increased creep resistance in SiC-whisker reinforced ceramics were found not be operative in platelet-reinforced ceramics.
Ham-Su, Rosaura, "Processing and creep behaviour of silicon carbide-platelet reinforced alumina" (1997). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2526.