Hydrothermal treatment is traditionally employed to improve the sinterability of powder compacts by reducing porosity and increasing apparent density. The effect of hydrothermal treatment on green powder compacts has been assessed in order to better understand how treatment may affect the sinter ability of the bodies. Laboratory synthesized nano sized hydroxyapatite (HA) and a commercial zirconia (ZrO2) powder have been ball milled together to create composite mixtures containing 0-5 wt% ZrO2 loadings. Disc shaped bodies have been formed using uniaxial and subsequent isostatic pressure. The resultant coherent samples were subjected to hydrothermal treatment at either 120 or 250°C for 10 h in order to assess the effect of this processing technique on the physical, mechanical and microstructural properties of the green composites. ZrO2 loadings up to 3 wt% increased apparent density from 90 to 92%, whereas increased loading to 5 wt% increased flexural strength, from 6 to 9 MPa. Increasing the hydrothermal treatment temperature increased open porosity, from ~44 to ~48% and reduced biaxial flexural strengths of the treated bodies compared to those of their room temperature isostatically pressed counterparts (~10 to ~6 MPa). © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

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01 Nov 2009

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