Microstructure and sintering behavior of mullite-zirconia composites

F. Sahnoune*, N. Saheb, M. Chegaar, P. Goeuriot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In the present work, the structure and sintering behaviour of mullite-zirconia composites were investigated. The composites were prepared by reaction sintering of Algerian kaolin, α-Al2O3, and stabilized zirconia (3Y-TZP). The raw materials were wet ball milled in a planetary ball mill followed by attrition. The green samples shaped using a uniaxial press were sintered between 1100°C and 1600°C for 2 hours. The density was measured by the water immersion method. Phases present and change of the average crystallite size of the mullite phase as a function of sintering temperature and ZrO2 content were characterized through X-ray diffraction. Mulite grains had whiskers' shape; however, the increase of ZrO2 content changed the morphology of grains to near spherical shape. The microstructure of the samples revealed uniform distribution of ZrO2 particles; also, aluminium was uniformly distributed on all grains exception on zirconia grains. At least a relative density of 95 % was achieved for all samples at a relatively lower sintering temperature of 1500°C. In composites containing up to 16 wt. % ZrO2, the zirconia phase retained its tetragonal structure and the transformed part did not exceed 3 %. However, with the addition of 32 wt. % ZrO2 around 66 % of the tetragonal structure changed to monoclinic structure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTHERMEC 2009
EditorsTara Chandra, Tara Chandra, Tara Chandra, N. Wanderka, N. Wanderka, N. Wanderka, Walter Reimers, Walter Reimers, Walter Reimers, M. Ionescu, M. Ionescu, M. Ionescu
PublisherTrans Tech Publications Ltd
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0878492941, 9780878492947
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameMaterials Science Forum
ISSN (Print)0255-5476
ISSN (Electronic)1662-9752


  • Composites
  • Kaolin
  • Mullite
  • Reaction sintering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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