High-temperature strength and thermal stability of a unidirectionally solidified Al2O3/YAG eutectic composite

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A unidirectional solidification method was investigated to manufacture Al2O3/YAG eutectic composites with high-temperature resistance that would make them usable at very high temperatures. We were successful in manufacturing a single-crystal Al2O3/single-crystal YAG eutectic composite with a dimension of 40 mm in diameter and 70 mm in length containing no colonies or pores. This composite also displayed excellent high-temperature strength characteristics. The flexural strength was in the range 350∼400 MPa from room temperature up to 2073 K (just below its melting point of about 2100 K) with no apparent temperature dependence. During tensile tests above 1923 K, the eutectic composite showed evidence of plastic deformation occurring by dislocation motion, and a yield phenomenon similar to many metals was observed. In addition, the microstructure of the composite was extremely stable: after 1000 h of heat treatment at 1973 K in an air atmosphere there was no growth. The above superior high-temperature characteristics are caused by such factors as the eutectic composite having a single-crystal Al2O3/single-crystal YAG structure, the formation of a compatible interface with no amorphous phase and thermal stability, and the combined effect of a YAG phase with superior high-temperature characteristics.

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