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A Tough Wear-Resistant Polymer/Ceramic Composite with Hierarchical Structures
Phone: (303) 940-2319
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a tough, strong, inexpensive and highly wear resistant ceramic composite with a "brick and mortar" microstructure. Biological materials such as nacre have high strength, high toughness and surprisingly high wear resistance even though they are composed of relatively soft materials. On the other hand, engineering ceramics achieve their wear resistance by being very hard and strong, but they are quite brittle. In spite of their use of relatively soft materials, biological materials such as shell, bone, teeth and horns achieve their properties by using a "brick and mortar" hierarchical structure and a resilient mortar. In contrast, engineering ceramics achieve their results with a brute force approach using a homogeneous "stone and mortar' structure; because there is little or no order to the structure, the ratio of stones (grains) to mortar (matrix) is relatively low. In addition, in engineering materials the matrix is generally brittle. TDA Research has developed a low cost, water based polymer that can be used as mortar for alumina bricks. TDA proposes to utilize a process that will orient alumina platelets and bond them together with TDA's polymer technology to achieve a nacre-like synthetic microstructure. The increase in toughness of an already tough ceramic will increase its wear resistance and expand the application base and markets for wear resistant technical ceramics.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *