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Nanoscale self-healing mechanisms in shape memory ceramics

mohsenzaeem's picture

Shape memory ceramics, such as yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia (YSTZ), offer unique properties including ultra-high operating temperatures and high resistance to oxidation. However, they are susceptible to formation of defects during manufacturing and/or by mechanical deformation. To completely take advantage of their shape memory properties, it is necessary to fully understand the nano-structural evolution of defects under external stimuli. In this study, defect evolution behaviors in YSTZ nanopillars are investigated by atomistic simulations. Two characteristic orientations of [011-] and [001] are selected to represent the dominant deformation mechanisms of phase transformation and dislocation migration, respectively. Volume expansion associated with thetetragonal to monoclinic phase transformation is observed to promote healing of crack and void. Atom stress analyses reveal stress concentrations along the newly formed monoclinic phase bands. A critical crack width is identified, less than which the crack can befully closed in compression. For [001]-oriented YSTZ nanopillars, dislocation migration leads to formations of an amorphous phase, which also assist the crack and void closure process. The revealed crack/void healing mechanisms may provide a path for mitigating internal defects that influences the mechanical properties and deformation mechanisms of shape memory ceramics.

Ning Zhang & Mohsen Asle Zaeem. Nanoscale self-healing mechanisms in shape memory ceramics, npj Computational Materials, volume 5, Article number: 54 (2019).

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