Direct evidence for compressive elastic strain at ground surfaces of nanocomposite ceramics

Tanner, B. K.; Wu, H. Z.; Roberts, S. G.
February 2005
Applied Physics Letters;2/7/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 6, p061909
Academic Journal
High-resolution grazing incidence x-ray powder diffraction has been used to provide direct evidence for the existence of a uniform compressive strain close to the surface of ground alumina/SiC nanocomposites. No such strain is found in ground surfaces of single-phase alumina or polished surfaces of nanocomposite. The strain in the ground nanocomposite is found to be perpendicular to the grinding direction and disappears on annealing at 1250 °C. Such a compressive stress provides a mechanism for enhancing the strength of the nanocomposite, by opposing any tensile loading tending to open surface flaws. The origin of the stresses probably lies in the enhanced grain boundary strength in the nanocomposite alumina–silicon carbide compared to alumina.


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