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Zirconia-alumina-nanodiamond composites with gemological properties

AuthorsDíaz, Luis A. ; Montes Morán, Miguel Ángel ; Peretyagin, Pavel Y.; Vladimirov, Yu G.; Okunkova, Anna; Moya, J. S. ; Torrecillas, Ramón
Issue Date2014
CitationJournal of Nanoparticle Research 16: 2257 (2014)
AbstractNanodiamonds have excellent mechanical and optical properties with a wide range of potential applications as a filler material for nanocomposites. Here, we present a new family of zirconia-alumina-nanodiamond composites using two main processing routes: (1) a colloidal method, and (2) power mixing homogenization. Composites with detonation nanodiamonds quantities ranging within 0.3-5 vol.% followed by a pulsed electrical current sintering at a temperature range from 1,200 to 1,500 C have been analyzed, and a significant enhancement in mechanical properties, i.e., indentation hardness (16.17 GPa), fracture toughness (15.5 MPa m1/2), and bending strength (1,600 MPa), could be observed. To support these excellent properties, TEM, color, reflectivity, and Raman spectroscopy measurements were also carried out. The microstructure of the composites is very homogeneous with average grain sizes between 200 and 500 nm depending on the processing temperature. Two morphologies are present: (a) intergranular dispersion of alumina grains and nanodiamonds distributed along the grain boundaries of the ZrO2 matrix, and (b) intragranular nano-dispersion of ZrO2 particles with sizes 20-80 nm located inside the alumina grains. In the present article, we show, for the first time in the scientific literature, a continuous palette of gray color gradation of new ceramic materials of metalized colors (white index L98-40) for gemological applications. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s11051-014-2257-x
issn: 1388-0764
e-issn: 1572-896X
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