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A thorough knowledge of a material's microstructure is an essential starting point from which material development and property characterization can be undertaken. This paper discusses the importance of combining different techniques, namely X-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy for gaining a better understanding of the complex microstructure of commercially available Si3N4-based ceramics. Microstructural analyses of a commercial hot-pressed silicon nitride densified with the aid of 9.0 wt% Y2O3 and 1.7 wt% Fe2O3 revealed that this material consists primarily of prismatic hexagonal grains of ?-Si3N4 surrounded by a crystalline intergranular phase identified as Y10(SiO4)6N2 (also known as H-phase), the volume fraction of which was estimated to be about 15%. By means of electron diffraction pattern analysis in a conventional TEM some

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Authors: COSTA F, INETI, Lisbon (PT);BAXTER D, IAM, JRC-Petten (NL);TAMBUYSER P, IAM, JRC-Petten (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Ceramics International (1999)
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