Zirconia/carbon nanofiber composites were prepared by hot pressing and spark plasma sintering with 2.0 and 3.3 vol.% of carbon nanofibers (CNFs). The effects of the sintering route and the carbon nanofiber additions on the microstructure, fracture/mechanical and electrical properties of the CNF/3Y-TZP composites were investigated. The microstructure of the ZrO2 and ZrO2–CNF composites consisted of a small grain sized matrix (approximately 120 nm), with relatively well dispersed carbon nanofibers in the composite. All of the composites showed significantly higher electrical conductivity (from 391 to 985 S/m) compared to the monolithic zirconia (approximately 1 × 10−10 S/m). The spark plasma sintered composites exhibited higher densities, hardness and indentation toughness but lower electrical conductivity compared to the hot pressed composites. The improved electrical conductivity of the composites is caused by CNFs network and by thin disordered graphite layers at the ZrO2/ZrO2 boundaries.
|Journal||Journal of the European Ceramic Society|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|