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Processing of Al2O3-AlN Ceramics and Their Structural, Mechanical, and Tribological Characterization

Published: 14 October 2021
 by  MDPI

Abstract: The aim of this study is to present a novel, lower sintering temperature preparation, processing, structural, mechanical, and tribological testing of the AlN-Al2O3 ceramics. The precursor powder of AlN was subjected to oxidation in ambient environment at 900 °C for 3, 10, and 20 h, respectively. These oxidized powders were characterized by SEM and XRD to reveal their morphology, phase, and crystal structure. The SEM results showed coarse powder particles and the presence of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) phase at the surface of aluminum nitride (AlN). The XRD analysis has shown increasing aluminum-oxy-nitride conversion of aluminum nitride as the holding time of oxidation increased. The highest percentage of conversion of AlN powder to AlN-Al2O3 was observed after 10 h. Simultaneously the powders were compacted and sintered using the hot isostatic pressing (HIP) under inert environment (N2 gas) at 1700 °C, 20 MPa for 5 h. This led to the compaction and increase in density of the final samples. Mechanical tests, such as bending test and tribology tests, were carried out on the samples. The mechanical properties of the samples were observed to improve in the oxidized samples compared to the precursor AlN. Moreover, applying longer oxidation time, the mechanical properties of the sintered samples enhanced significantly. Optimum qualitative (microstructure, oxide percentage) and quantitative (tribology, hardness, and bending tests) properties were observed in samples with 10-h oxidation time.
Keywords: aluminum oxy-nitride / aluminum nitride / hot isostatic pressing / ceramics / tribology

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