In order to combine the mechanical properties of a high-strength inert ceramic (yttria-stabilised zirconia, ZrO2-3%Y2O3, defined as zirconia in the text) with the specific properties of bioactive materials, some zirconia samples were coated by two bioactive phosphosilicate glasses and glass-ceramics: RKKP and AP40. Coatings of about 200-300μm thickness were prepared by a simple and low-cost firing method. They were characterised by optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and compositional analysis (EDS). The adhesion of the coatings on zirconia was tested by shear tests. Vickers indentations at the coating/zirconia interface were performed in order to observe the crack propagation path. The reactivity of glasses and glass-ceramics coatings towards a simulated body fluid (SBF), having the same ion concentration as that of human plasma, was evaluated and compared to that of the bulk glass and glass-ceramics, by examining the morphology of the reaction layer formed on the surface of the coated zirconia after one month of soaking in the SBF at 37°C. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
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