, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1095-1100
Date: 16 Jan 2008

Effect of reactant composition on the production of MoSi2 by self-propagating high-temperature synthesis

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Abstract

The effect of reactant composition, particle size of silicon, density of powdered compacts, and reaction atmosphere on the characteristics of molybdenum disilicide produced from molybdenum and silicon powders by self-propagating high-temperature synthesis, was studied in a pressurized reaction chamber at 1.5 bar. The atomic ratio of silicon to molybdenum (Si/Mo) was changed from 1.0 to 2.6 in order to investigate the effect of reactant composition on the characteristics of self-propagating high-temperature synthesis. Stable combustion was observed for the values of atomic ratios of silicon to molybdenum from 1.8 to 2.2 and SHS-produced material consisted of a uniform and single-phased MoSi2. In the meantime unstable combustion such as oscillatory, spinning, and surface combustion was detected for the values of atomic ratios of silicon to molybdenum less than 1.8 or larger than 2.2. SHS-produced material under unstable combustion includes the impurities of Mo5Si3, Mo3Si, unreacted Mo and Si resulting from the layered or reacted-on-surface structures, which give lower degree of reaction and possibly poor electrical properties of heating element MoSi2. The value of criterion α suggested by Shkadinskii et al. to differentiate stable combustion from unstable one, is found to be 0.74 for producing molybdenum disilicide by self-propagating high-temperature synthesis. Stable combustion was detected for the values of α greater than 0.74 (α>0.74) to give the uniform and single-phased product while unstable combustion was observed for the values of α less than 0.74 (α<0.74) to result in a non-uniform and multiphase product. This critical value will help the industry to produce uniform and high-purity molybdenum disilicide by self-propagating high-temperature synthesis processes.