Ultrahigh toughness zirconia ceramics



Koji Matsui, Kohei Hosoi, Bin Feng, Hidehiro Yoshida, Yuichi Ikuhara


The attainment of both high strength and toughness is the ultimate goal for most structural materials. Although ceramic material has been considered for use as a structural material due to its high strength and good chemical stability, it suffers from the limitation of low toughness. For instance, although Y2O3-stabilized tetragonal ZrO2 polycrystals (Y-TZPs) exhibit remarkable toughness among ceramics due to their phase transformation toughening mechanism, this toughness is still much weaker than that of metals. Here, we report Y-TZP-based ceramic materials with toughnesses exceeding 20 MPa m1/2, which is comparable to those of metals, while maintaining strengths over 1,200 MPa. The superior mechanical properties are realized by reducing the phase stability of tetragonal zirconia by tailoring the microstructure and chemistry of the Y-TZP. The proposed ceramic materials can further advance the design and application of ceramic-based structural materials.




Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: