Effect of SiO₂ and Y₂O₃ Additives on the Anisotropic Grain Growth of Dense Mullite


Messing, Gary L.


Mullite powder with a nearly stoichiometric composition was doped with 1.5-5 wt% SiO2 or 0.5-1.0 wt% Y2O3 and hot pressed at 1525-1550 °C to produce almost fully dense materials. The effect of the additives on the grain growth of the dense systems was investigated during subsequent annealing at temperatures above that of the eutectic (∼1590 °C) for the SiO2-Al2O3 system. The average length and width of the grains were measured by image analysis of polished and etched sections. At 1750 °C, anisotropic grain growth was relatively rapid, leading to the formation of rodlike grains. Compared to the undoped mullite, the addition of SiO2 and Y2O3 produced a small reduction in the grain growth kinetics. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the glassy second phase was concentrated at the three-grain junctions or distributed inhomogeneously at the grain boundaries. For the materials annealed at 1750 °C, the indentation fracture toughness at room temperature increased from 2.0 to 2.5 MPa m1/2 for the undoped mullite to values as high as 4.0-4.5 MPa m1/2 for the doped mullite. The implications of the data for enhancing the fracture toughness of mullite by the in situ development of a microstructure of elongated grains are considered.


Materials Science and Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 2000 Materials Research Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2000