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3Y-TZP has been one of the most applied ceramics in the biomedical field, specifically for hip, knee and dental implants, given its high strength, moderate fracture toughness and excellent biocompatibility. However, hydrothermal degradation has meant an important disadvantage, as surface t–m transformation, followed by microcracking, can lead to the premature failure of the implant. In this work, surface nitriding at 1600, 1500 and 1400 °C for 1, 2 and 4 h with N2 gas and ZrN powder was applied and optimised to avoid hydrothermal degradation. Nitriding at 1600 and 1500 °C produces a harder low-toughness surface, not adequate for structural implants. It is shown that the most favourable condition is nitriding at 1400 °C for 1 h, since the mechanical properties of the original 3Y-TZP are not affected with the advantage of retarding hydrothermal degradation by a factor close to 10.
CitacióValle, J. [et al.]. Mechanical properties and resistance to low temperature degradation of surface nitrided 3Y-TZP. "Journal of the european ceramic society", Desembre 2013, vol. 33, núm. 15-16, p. 3145-3155.