Tough alumina/polymer layered composites with high ceramic content

Konstantin Livanov, Hans Jelitto, Benny Bar-On, Karl Schulte, Gerold A. Schneider, Daniel H. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ceramic composites found in nature, such as bone, nacre, and sponge spicule, often provide an effective resolution to a wellknown conflict between materials' strength and toughness. This arises, on the one hand, from their high ceramic content that ensures high strength of the material. On the other hand, various pathways are provided for stress dissipation, and thus toughness, due to their intricate hierarchical architectures. Such pathways include crack bridging, crack deflection, and delamination in the case of layered structures. On the basis of these inspiring ideas, we attempted here to create simultaneously strong and tough laminated alumina composite with high ceramic content. Composites were prepared from highgrade commercial alumina with spin-coated interlayers of ductile polymers (PMMA and PVA). The specimens' ultimate properties (strength, fracture toughness, and work of fracture) were measured by a four-point bending method. In some cases, fracture toughness of the composites was increased by up to an order of magnitude, reminiscent of the natural layered composites. It is proposed that this increase may be attributed to an interlocking mechanism, often encountered in biological composites. The significance of sample architecture and the role of the interfacial and bulk properties of the interlayer material are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1285-1291
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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