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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/N06601/01
Title: GRAIN BOUNDARY STRENGTHENING AND SURFACE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF SINTERABLE ALUMINA MATRIX NANOCOMPOSITES
Principal Investigator: Roberts, Professor SG
Other Investigators:
Titchmarsh, Professor J Inkson, Professor B Todd, Professor RI
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Morgan Matroc
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2000 Ends: 30 June 2004 Value (£): 276,019
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Construction
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The core of the programme will be to perform powder processing, sintering and basic microstructural characterisation on aluminas and nanocomposites with various particle compositions (SiC, Si3N4 and mullite) , volume fractions (0-10%, focussing on low volume fractions) and sizes (100s on nm to a few microns) , and with various oxide additives (magnesia, zirconia, ceria, and yttria). Materials that attain full density, or near full density, will be examined for improved surface mechanical properties over alumina, testing grain boundary strength by wear, polishing, and nanoindentation tests. We will select materials that sinter easily (low T and easy green body formation) for production and testing on a prptotype industrial scale. We will use microscopical and analysis methods to examine grain boundary structure and chemistry, and subsurface damage in more detail, and thus to understand the link between composition, microstraucture, deformation modes and the resultatnt surface mechanical properties.
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk