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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 867367, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/867367
Research Article

To Evaluate the Application of Alkoxide Sol-Gel Method in Fabrication of 3YSZ-MWCNTs Nanocomposites, in an Attempt to Improve Its Mechanical Properties

1Materials and Energy Research Centre, P.O. Box 31878-316, Karaj 31787-316, Iran
2Materials Research School, NSTRI, P.O. Box 81465-1589, Isfahan 8166184111, Iran

Received 26 April 2014; Revised 5 August 2014; Accepted 20 August 2014; Published 12 October 2014

Academic Editor: Claude Estournès

Copyright © 2014 Ali Ahmadi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In the present research work, fabrication of YSZ-CNTs composite system through alkoxide sol-gel processing was evaluated, in an attempt to improve its mechanical properties. Nanocomposites containing 0.5–2 wt% MWCNTs were then fabricated through the hydrolysis and condensation processing of the solution mixtures containing alkoxide and inorganic precursors along with the functionalized CNTs under basic condition and its final sintering by the SPS technique at 1400°C. Results showed the formation of a nanocomposite powder based on pure 3YSZ matrix, with well dispersion of CNTs and its good adhesion to the matrix particles in composite containing 0.5 wt% CNTs. The fracture toughness of sintered samples showed around 24% increase for the composite containing 0.5 wt% CNTs. The fracture toughness, hardness, and density decreased due to the agglomeration of CNTs over 0.5 wt%. Toughening mechanisms including pullout and crack bridging were observed on the polished and fractured surfaces.