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Mechanical behaviour of Al2O3-ZrO2 minicomposite reinforced glass matrix optomechanical composite

To understand the effect of a 'mesh-structured reinforcement' on the optical and mechanical properties of optomechanical composites, a unidirectional Al2O3 fibre-ZrO2 matrix minicomposite reinforced glass matrix optomechanical composite has been fabricated. By regular alignment of the minicomposites in the glass matrix as part of the 'mesh structure' a high degree of optical transparency is obtained in the composite; this transparency is proportional to its 'optical window' regions. The mesh structured reinforcement composed of millimetre order widely spaced minicomposites is effective in improving the fracture resistance of the resulting composites primarily through an intact minicomposite bridging mechanism. Use of the minicomposite type of reinforcement is one possible means of improving the mechanical properties of brittle matrix optomechanical composites.