New Materials Research Wins ESTCON2020 Best Paper Award

Developing a stronger ceramic material for the medical and structural engineering industry.
Ts Dr Alexander Chee Hon Cheong, from the School of Engineering Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) was awarded the Best Paper Award for his research paper entitled “To Investigate and Evaluate the Fracture Toughness of CuO-Doped 3Y-TZP with Different Indentation Fracture (IF) Method Model” in the International Conference on Production, Energy and Reliability under the World Engineering, Science and Technology Congress (ESTCON2020).

The 6th edition of ESTCON 2020 was organised by Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) from 13 to 15 July 2021 as a virtual congress with the theme ‘Science, Technology and Humanities: Reinventing the Future’. It was postponed last year due to the ongoing pandemic.

This Congress was an excellent centre stage for knowledge sharing, intellectual discussions and networking for academics, researchers, scientists, engineers, interest groups and industry experts from all around the world and covered diverse fields especially innovation, engineering and technology and humanities.

New material for future medical and engineering industry

Ts Dr Alexander’s interest in the use of new ceramics material called Zirconia (also known as Zirconium dioxide (Zr02) began during his doctoral studies and has continued throughout his teaching career.

Zirconia materials are widely used in the medical industry (teeth, bones, and prosthetic) and other engineering industries (thermal coating barrier layer spray which can prolong the operational hour by controlling the temperature), whose properties could be further improved.
Dr Alexander developed a new mathematical model to simplify the study and evaluation of the fracture toughness of the materials.

“To study Zirconia is a great and amazing experience. The wide application of Zirconia which is used in a wide range of industries is yet to be fully exploited in terms of the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties.

Co-author, Prof Ir Dr Ramesh Singh also provided the raw material, equipment and lab at the University of Malaya (UM) for research and testing purposes that led to this successful paper outcome.

“Another room of improvement is the analysis method and one of the approaches is to come out with a new mathematic model based on the different cracking patterns. The new mathematic model will allow the analysis to be conducted in a more effective and efficient manner,” said Dr Alexander

The fun and unpredictable nature of this area of research keep Dr Alexander going forwards in terms of confidence and belief in his work.

As for Dr Alexander future plans, he is planning to seek suitable grants to further study on the application of Zirconia for Thermal Barrier Coating (TBC) and Solar Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC).

And for his paper, he has already published almost six papers on this topic and wants to compile all his research in a single book that he hopes in future, will be used as a reference in the health and engineering industry.