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Field assisted sintering of nanostructured zirconia-alumina ceramics for demanding applications

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journal contribution
posted on 06.05.2016, 10:38 by John Downs, Annapoorani Ketharam, Vaidhy VaidhyanathanVaidhy Vaidhyanathan
Flash and Field Assisted Sintering Techniques (FAST) have been demonstrated in many singular ceramic systems. However, little has been done to thoroughly investigate this phenomenon in binary systems. Zirconia-alumina composites are of interest because of their widespread use in demanding situations for health care, petro-chemical and energy applications. The prospect of minimising grain growth associated with FAST whilst achieving maximum densification is vital for the above applications to improve performance. Flash sintering behaviour of several zirconia-alumina formulations was investigated under a range of DC electric fields up to 700 V/cm. At low alumina contents (<10 wt%) the flash behaviour was controlled by the zirconia phase; at intermediate compositions (10 wt% - 70 wt%) show a composite effect; and at high alumina contents (>75 wt%) the effectiveness of field assisted sintering drops off. These pointers allowed to gain further insight into the mechanisms of flash sintering and will help to develop pathways for the adaptation of the technique to process complex ceramic systems.


The authors thank the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK (Nanoplants grant: EP/L024780/1) and Innovate UK for financial support.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Materials

Published in

Transactions of the Indian Ceramic Society


DOWNS, J., KETHARAM, A. and VAIDHYANATHAN, B., 2016. Field assisted sintering of nanostructured zirconia-alumina ceramics for demanding applications. Transactions of the Indian Ceramic Society, 75 (2), pp. 92-97.


Taylor & Francis


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Transactions of the Indian Ceramic Society on 19th July 2016, available online: