Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Ampere 2019

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Lorena Gil-Flores, María D Salvador, Felipe L Penaranda-Foix, Roberto Rosa, Paolo Veronesi, Cristina Leonelli, Amparo Borrell

Last modified: 11-10-2019


Zirconia is one of the most used ceramics, especially for biomedical applications, due to its exceptional mechanical properties. However, it is commonly known that its properties can be diminished owing to a low temperature degradation (LTD). This phenomenon consists on a spontaneous phase transformation, from tetragonal to monoclinic, under certain conditions, which is accelerated when the samples are exposed under high levels of humidity at a temperature range between 20-300 ºC. In addition to the fact that the monoclinic phase presents worse mechanical properties than the tetragonal one, there is a volume change of 4% between phases that gives rise to defects in the material as microcracks. Due to this reason, zirconia prostheses failed catastrophically inside the human body between 1999 and 20011. Previous researches reveal that Al2O3 addition suppress the propagation of phase transformation2. Thus, the aim of the present work is to study the hydrothermal ageing of zirconia doped with ceria and toughened with alumina (10Ce-TZP/Al2O3) composite, which has been sintered by microwave employing two different frequencies: 2.45 and 5.8 GHz.

Microwave heating technology is based on the absorption of electromagnetic radiation by the material, which allows the sample to be heated. So far, most microwave heating equipments use 2.45 GHz; accordingly, the novelty of this study is to employ a frequency of 5.8 GHz and to investigate its effect on LTD.

LTD is carried out in an autoclaved in steam at 120 ºC and 1.2 bar, because these conditions accelerate the hydrothermal aging process3. In order to characterize the degraded samples, micro-Raman spectroscopy, AFM, nanoindentation technique and electronic microscopy have been performed.



1.           Norton, M. R., Yarlagadda, R., Anderson, G. H. J. Bone Joint Surg. Br., 2002, 84B, 631–635.

2.           Fabbri, P., Piconi, C., Burresi, E., Magnani, G., Mazzanti, F., Mingazzini, C. Dent. Mater., 2014.

3.           Presenda, Á., Salvador, M. D., Moreno, R., Borrell, A. J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 2015, 98, 3680–3689.




Microwave Sintering; Biomaterials; Mechanical Properties; Ageing Process

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