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Title: Surface response of ceramics subject to erosive wear
Author: García-Atance Fatjo, Gonzalo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 6656
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2010
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Research concerning the surface of technical ceramics is carried out from the viewpoint of their mechanical performance subjected to relevant operating conditions. The selected materials are silicon nitride, zirconia and alumina. They are subjected to cavitation erosion and other wear processes. When polished ceramics are subjected to cavitation, a pseudoplastic deformation pit is discovered, as well as a delayed phase transformation or ageing of the zirconia stored at room temperature. Measured ageing times recorded are of the order of one month. These two discoveries are novel and a full explanation is explored. The creation of cracks that release the slip planes of ceramic grains allowing plastic deformation is proposed to be the main mechanism. In order to understand the relationship of the zirconia surface degradation with its oxides (yttria or magnesia), several material compositions are tested. It is concluded that the delay of phase transformation relies on the existence of partially stabilized tetragonal zirconia regardless of the oxide used to stabilize it. Part of this research consists of understanding the effects of the experimental procedure that is utilised on the behaviour of the material. An unexpected non homogeneous cavitation erosion shape is obtained when an ultrasonic horn of small diameter is used to produce the bubbles. This non homogeneous region, referred to as ring region for this research, affects the erosion pattern of the material and it differs from the typical ones obtained when following the standard test. The acoustic theory does not explain this phenomenon. Therefore, a new approach is followed. This approach consists of using fluid mechanics equations combined with analytical mechanics principles. It is concluded that the location of cavitation clusters fulfils a condition of minimum energy. On the other hand, there are important differences between this experimental set up and the set up suggested by the published standards. These differences are discussed and a criterion for cavitation erosion resistance is developed. The comparison of cavitation resistance of materials is achieved by means of surface loss as criterion instead of volume loss.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Metallurgy and Materials