Localized superplastic deformation of nanocrystalline 3Y-TZP ceramics under cyclic tensile fatigue at ambient temperature

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Cyclic tensile fatigue tests were performed on 100±20 nm, and 0.35 μm 3Y-TZP ceramic specimens at room temperature. Localized superplastic deformation of the grains in the 100 nm material at and near to the fracture surfaces was first identified by AFM imaging. Slip band-like microfeatures, similar to those reported on some metals, were also unexpectedly seen to develop on the side faces. In contrast, the 0.35 μm specimens retained their equiaxed grain morphology after undergoing similar testing conditions. The micromechanisms underlining these phenomena were discussed. Grain boundary diffusion of the respective atomic species is reasoned to be the major governing process in operation. And the contribution of a dislocation slip mechanism is considered to play a possible or parallel role.

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