Carbon fibres coated with titanium carbide using the liquid metal transfer agent technique
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Protective coatings of titanium carbide were applied to PAN type carbon fibres by a liquid metal transfer agent (LMTA) technique using tin as a transfer agent. The effect of the coating on the strength of the fibres was evaluated by performing single fibre tensile tests. The coatings were examined metallographically, by X-ray diffractometry, and by scanning electron microscopy. Carbide coating thicknesses obtained ranged from approximately 0.05 to 0.5 μm and the coatings were found to be uniform and adherent to the fibres. It was found that wetting of the fibres by the tin alloy is associated with the spontaneous formation of a carbide layer with a thickness dependent upon the melt temperature, after which the carbide layer was found to grow parabolically with time and with an apparent activation energy of 187 kJ mol−1. The strength of the carbon fibres decreased with increasing coating thickness according to a Griffith relation.
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