METHOD FOR PRODUCING HIGH-STRENGTH HIGH-TOUGHNESS ZrO2-Al2O3-BASED SOLID SOLUTION CERAMIC
Provided is a method for producing a high-strength high-toughness ZrO2-Al2O3-based solid solution ceramic. Y2O3 in an amount of 0.3-1.7 mol% is added ZrO2 employing a sol-gel method to prepare an amorphous ZrO2-(20-30 mol% Al2O3) solid solution powder, and the resultant amorphous solid solution powder is pre-sintered at a temperature equal to or higher than a crystallization temperature, thereby preparing a crystalline ZrO2 solid solution powder (step A). The resultant crystalline ZrO2 solid solution powder is molded, and the molded product is then sintered in an inert gas atmosphere under the conditions of a temperature rising rate of 50 C/min or more, a pressure of 30-100 MPa and a sintering temperature of 1250-1350 DEG C for 3-30 minutes (step B). In this process, it is preferred to perform the molding in the step B by means of cold isostatic press and perform the sintering by a pulse current pressure sintering method or a spark plasma sintering method in an argon or nitrogen gas atmosphere.