Atomic force microscopy of transformation toughening in ceria-stabilized zirconia

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We demonstrate in this paper that atomic force microscopy can be successfully used to gain further insights into the understanding of transformation toughening in ceria-stabilized zirconia. Transformation was induced by stresses accumulated in the region surrounding propagating cracks in double torsion samples. The resolution provided by AFM at the surface of the samples made it possible to observe the formation of self-accommodated martensite pairs in the near crack areas. The potential for transformation is found to decrease with increasing alloying addition, and is totally suppressed for 16 mol% CeO2 -TZP samples. A statistical analysis of the martensite pair orientation is performed, and the relationship with the applied stress and strain fields is discussed. The contribution to transformation toughening by transformation-induced plasticity occurring in the formation of martensitic variant pairs with small net shear is demonstrated. The influence of alloying addition content on the potential for transformation toughening and fracture toughness values is finally discussed. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Deville, S., El Attaoui, H., & Chevalier, J. (2005). Atomic force microscopy of transformation toughening in ceria-stabilized zirconia. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 25(13), 3089–3096.

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