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The effect of hydrothermal ageing on indentation cracks has been determined in 3Y-TZP by measuring the flexure strength of indented specimens before and after ageing. A substantial increase in strength was observed after ageing, in contrast to the well known decrease in strength in smooth
specimens with only natural flaws. The increase in strength with ageing also occurs if the indentation residual stresses are previously removed by annealing. Observations around the crack tip show the formation of a highly microcracked zone during vapour exposure. Fractographic and
micro-Raman analysis observations show that the profile of the cracks is marked on the fracture surface by this zone which is intergranular with a crumbled appearance and in which transformation has taken place. The increase in strength is discussed in terms of crack tip blunting induced by the multiaxial stresses that develop in front of the crack under bending.
CitationMarro, F.G.; Anglada, M. Strengthening of Vickers indented 3Y-TZP by hydrothermal ageing. "Journal of the european ceramic society", Febrer 2012, vol. 32, núm. 2, p. 317-324.
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