Elastic Modulus Characterization of Aluminium Oxide

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Aluminum oxide is a multipurpose material with a wide range of applications from building materials to refractories and even abrasives. It is also the primary constituent in rubies and sapphires. It can exist in several crystalline phases but always reverts to the highly stable hexagonal alpha phase. This property of reversion makes it a very durable material with high strength and hardness. It is a very important industrial mineral and can be found in many applications, such as alumina refractories, ceramics, abrasives and manufacturing glass.

This article focuses on the characterization of the elastic moduli (Young’s Modulus, shear modulus and Poisson’s ratio) and damping of this versatile material by using non-destructive nanoindentation tests conducted on a bending apparatus. A series of alumina-cement-coated aluminium oxide samples with different particle size and surface coverage with CNP are tested for their mechanical properties. The results show a good agreement between modeling and microscopic deformation behaviour for both the dry and wet alumina-CNP coated films. The elastic moduli obtained are related to the adsorption of CNP on Al2O3 particles and vary with particle size and surface coverage.

The influence of the substrate on the stiffness measurement is investigated through the use of a model developed by Oliver and Pharr to take into account the mode of deformation around the indenter, sinking-in or piling-up. Hemmouche et al. [25] also test numerous models for the elastic modulus variation determination and conclude that Gao’s function is probably the best one for this type of analysis.

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