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Efforts by Iranian researchers in utilizing ceramic nanoparticles to synthesize zirconia/steel composite created beam of hope for mass-production of this composite type for aerospace industries.
"In this research, we investigated the joint of zirconia to stainless steel by cosintering method. For this purpose, we used yttria-stabilized zirconia and 430 stainless steel as raw materials," Dr. Dourandish, one of the researchers at Sharif University of Technology, told Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council.
"Considering the sintering temperature difference between two substances and limited micrometric particles free surfaces causing significant limitation to efficient bonds formation between metal and ceramic, we utilized zirconia nanopowder as the ceramic component," he reiterated, adding, "We also investigated parameters influencing metal/ceramic bond formation in sintering process."
The results of this study imply that direct joint of zirconia to stainless steel by cosintering method is possible. Shear strength test also implies that interface strength is higher under vacuum sintering than argon one. Despite the thermodynamic analysis results showing the infeasibility of chrome oxidation at joint interface, microscopic observations and combinational analyses reveal that chrome plays an important role in bond formation by diffusing into the interface and separation from the steel.
Chrome mostly accumulates on zirconia free surfaces by diffusion from gas phase and surface diffusion. Besides that, liquid phase formation during the sintering causes zirconia surface wettability improvement, increase of diffusion rate in the interface, melt diffusion to zirconia inter-particle space and formation of mechanical seals.
Attaining a fine-grained fine-structure of zirconia (~160 nm) is another feature of the synthesized composites.
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