Dynamic strain propagation in nanoparticulate zirconia refractory

Morgan Jones, Stephen Fearn, Rudolf Winter, F. Yuan, A. R. Lennie, J. E. Parker, S. P. Thompson, C. C. Tang

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Residual and intrinsic strains in granular materials have been studied extensively. However, understanding the dynamic strains that cause these resultant residual strains is key to developing better strain-resistant materials. This investigation demonstrates a method for characterizing dynamic strain propagation in granular materials. The specimen is a zirconia-based refractory composed of sol-gel-derived zirconia nanoparticles in a potassium silicate glass binder. In situ synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction in flat-plate geometry is used to characterize the sample structure on timescales of the order of 1 ms. A 125 W CO2 laser is used to strain the sample with a 25 ms pulse length. To compensate for the poor flux on this timescale, a pump-probe method is repeated 1000 times and the resulting data are subsequently re-binned to improve statistics. A Gaussian weighting function is also used to introduce better contrast between strained and unstrained frames. TOPAS Academic is used for fitting with a Le Bail model in `batch mode'. Lattice parameters and sample height are refined during fitting, along with a Lorentzian line width for extracting microstrain broadening. Microstrains, [epsilon], in the range of 1.01 < [epsilon] < 1.46% are reported on a 1 ms timescale
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Crystallography
Early online date21 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2015


  • lasers
  • in situ x-ray diffraction
  • zirconia
  • dynamic strain
  • microstrain
  • structural refinement
  • whole powder pattern fitting


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