Indexed on: 14 Oct '16Published on: 14 Oct '16Published in: Journal of Materials Science
High-strength, colorless glass–ceramics in the MgO/Al2O3/SiO2 system with high concentrations of ZrO2 and a great potential for technical application, e.g., as high-performance hard disc substrates, are investigated. ZrO2 concentrations from 6 to 9 mol% are added to a stoichiometric cordierite glass to investigate the influence of the concentration of the nucleating agent on the crystallization behavior and the mechanical properties. The phase formation and the microstructure of the glass–ceramics are studied using X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy including electron backscatter diffraction. It is shown that the volume crystallization of ZrO2, a low-/high-quartz solid solution (low-/high-QSS), and spinel is accompanied by the surface crystallization of indialite. This phase offers a much smaller coefficient of thermal expansion than the other crystal phases, which may induce high compressive stresses in the surface layer of the glass–ceramics after cooling and seems to result in excellent mechanical properties of the material. Biaxial flexural strengths of up to 1 GPa were measured. Higher ZrO2 concentrations reduce the surface crystallization of indialite and decrease the mean size of the crystals resulting in a higher translucency. The volume-crystallizing phases and the mechanical properties of the glass–ceramics do not seem to be significantly affected by the analyzed ZrO2 concentrations.