The invention is the first method which utilizes sol-gel processing techniques and a hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) polymer to generate nano and submicron sized zirconia powders which contain 100% tetragonal phase zirconium at room temperature.
Zirconium is a well-known structural ceramic, which exhibits a resistance to wear, abrasion, impact fracturing, corrosion, an ability to withstand high temperatures, and other highly desirable mechanical properties. Zirconium is at its strongest when it is metastabilized in a tetragonal state. If a sufficient amount of metastabile zirconium is present, it will convert to its monoclinic phase specifically at the site of a fracture. The conversion from the tetragonal to the monoclinic phase is associated with a volume expansion, which then compresses the fracture delaying the crack propagation and resisting subsequent fracture. In order to keep zirconium in its strongest tetragonal state at room temperature stabilizers must be incorporated. Traditional synthesis and stabilization methods are unable to produce zirconium in a 100% purely tetragonal phase, thereby reducing the chance the material will exhibit this “self healing” effect at the site of a fracture.
UCF scientists have discovered a method to generate such a material utilizing sol-gel techniques at room temperature. By incorporating this method materials manufacturers can produce zirconium of the highest quality for a significantly reduced price.
- One-of-a-kind sol-gel method for creating 100% tetragonal phase nano and submicron sized zirconia powders at room temperatures
- Capable of producing high quality coatings at lower temperatures and in complex shapes
- Catalyst supports
- Gas sensors
- Nanocrystalline ceramic coatings
Additional Technology Numbers: 31026, 31196, 31456