, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 1496-1505

Low-Temperature Processing of ZrB2-ZrC Composites by Reactive Hot Pressing

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Abstract

Dense ZrB2-ZrC and ZrB2-ZrC x∼0.67 composites have been produced by reactive hot pressing (RHP) of stoichiometric and nonstoichiometric mixtures of Zr and B4C powders at 40 MPa and temperatures up to 1600 °C for 30 minutes. The role of Ni addition on reaction kinetics and densification of the composites has been studied. Composites of ∼97 pct relative density (RD) have been produced with the stoichiometric mixture at 1600 °C, while the composite with ∼99 pct RD has been obtained with excess Zr at 1200 °C, suggesting the formation of carbon deficient ZrC x that significantly aids densification by plastic flow and vacancy diffusion mechanism. Stoichiometric and nonstoichiometric composites have a hardness of ∼20 GPa. The grain sizes of ZrB2 and ZrC x∼0.67 are ∼0.6 and 0.4 μm, respectively, which are finer than those reported in the literature.

This article is based on a presentation given in the symposium entitled “Materials Behavior: Far from Equilibrium” as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, which occurred during December 15–16, 2006 in Mumbai, India.