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Bioinspired nacre-like alumina with a bulk-metallic glass-forming alloy as a compliant phase.

  • Author(s): Wat, Amy
  • Lee, Je In
  • Ryu, Chae Woo
  • Gludovatz, Bernd
  • Kim, Jinyeon
  • Tomsia, Antoni P
  • Ishikawa, Takehiko
  • Schmitz, Julianna
  • Meyer, Andreas
  • Alfreider, Markus
  • Kiener, Daniel
  • Park, Eun Soo
  • Ritchie, Robert O
  • et al.
Abstract

Bioinspired ceramics with micron-scale ceramic "bricks" bonded by a metallic "mortar" are projected to result in higher strength and toughness ceramics, but their processing is challenging as metals do not typically wet ceramics. To resolve this issue, we made alumina structures using rapid pressureless infiltration of a zirconium-based bulk-metallic glass mortar that reactively wets the surface of freeze-cast alumina preforms. The mechanical properties of the resulting Al2O3 with a glass-forming compliant-phase change with infiltration temperature and ceramic content, leading to a trade-off between flexural strength (varying from 89 to 800 MPa) and fracture toughness (varying from 4 to more than 9 MPa·m½). The high toughness levels are attributed to brick pull-out and crack deflection along the ceramic/metal interfaces. Since these mechanisms are enabled by interfacial failure rather than failure within the metallic mortar, the potential for optimizing these bioinspired materials for damage tolerance has still not been fully realized.

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