The elastic properties of transparent ceramics and their dependence on the grain boundary network and grain size

The elastic properties of sintered polycrystalline materials, i.e. ceramics, depend on the grain size and the grain boundary network, and can exhibit elastic behavior that substantially deviates from that predicted based on single-crystal properties. The underlying reasons, however, including the effects of grain size in polycrystalline mantle materials remain poorly understood.
In this project, we will systematically study the elastic properties of sintered, transparent fine-grained ceramics with different grain sizes and grain boundary networks. Synthetic sintered samples will be characterized by a variety of techniques available at the Department of Materials, including SEM and EBSD. Physical properties at room conditions, as well as at high pressure and temperature, will be characterized by X-ray diffraction as well as optical Brillouin spectroscopy measurements in the Department of Earth Sciences. Experimental results will be complemented by Finite Element Modelling to establish quantitative relationships between the ceramics’ microstructure and bulk elastic properties. The results will contribute to understanding the effects of grain boundaries and the grain boundary network on ceramics, and will allow for optimizing the physical properties of future technological materials.


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