Effect of Grinding and Multi-Stimuli Aging on the Fatigue Strength of a Y-TZP Ceramic

Abstract This study aimed to investigate the effect of grinding and multi-stimuli aging on the fatigue strength, surface topography and the phase transformation of Y-TZP ceramic. Discs were manufactured according to ISO-6872:2008 for biaxial flexure testing (diameter: 15 mm; thickness: 1.2 mm) and randomly assigned considering two factors “grinding” and “aging”: C- control (as-sintered); CA- control + aging; G- ground; GA- ground + aging. Grinding was carried out with coarse diamond burs under water-cooling. Aging protocols consisted of: autoclave (134°C, 2 bars pressure, 20 hours), followed by storage for 365 days (samples were kept untouched at room temperature), and by mechanical cycling (106 cycles by 20 Hz under a load of 50% from the biaxial flexure monotonic tests). Flexural fatigue strengths (20,000 cycles; 6 Hz) were determined under sinusoidal cyclic loading using staircase approach. Additionally, surface topography analysis by FE-SEM and phase transformation analysis by X-ray Diffractometry were performed. Dixon and Mood methodology was used to analyze the fatigue strength data. Grinding promotes alterations of topographical pattern, while aging apparently did not alter it. Grinding triggered t-m phase transformation without impacting the fatigue strength of the Y-TZP ceramic; and aging promoted an intense t-m transformation that resulted in a toughening mechanism leading to higher fatigue strength for as-sintered condition, and a tendency of increase for ground condition (C < CA; G = GA). It concludes that grinding and aging procedures did not affect deleteriously the fatigue strength of the evaluated Y-TZP ceramic, although, it promotes surface topography alterations, except to aging, and t-m phase transformation.