, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 419-425
Date: 12 May 2007

Synthesis of porous biomorphic α/β-Si3N4 composite from sea sponge

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Biomorphic α/β-Si3N4 composites were produced from natural sea sponge via replication method. The sponges were impregnated with a Si-containing slurry via dip-coating. After coating, the sponges were submitted to oxidation at 600°C for 1 h to decompose the bio-polymers followed by burning out of carbon, leading to a Si-skeleton. Subsequent thermal treatment at 1,450°C for 5 h under flowing nitrogen promoted the nitridation of the Si resulting in α/β-Si3N4 with an α/β fraction of 67%. The ceramic composite maintained the original morphology of the sea sponge and exhibited a porosity of 88%. The microstructure comprised whiskers, small irregular shaped particles and rod-like hexagonal grains.