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Synthesis of Ti matrix composites reinforced with TiC particles: thermodynamic equilibrium and change in microstructure

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The evolution of TiC reinforcement during the high-temperature consolidation step of a particulate-reinforced Ti matrix composite has been studied. A four-step scenario has been highlighted starting with the dissolution of the smallest particles to reach C saturation of the Ti matrix, followed by a change in the TiC stoichiometry from the initial TiC0.96 composition to the equilibrium composition (TiC0.57). This change in composition induces an increase in both the total mass fraction of reinforcement and the particle diameter. The diameter increase promotes contact between individual particles in the most reinforced domains and initiates an aggregation phenomenon that is responsible for the observed high growth rate of particles for heat treatment times shorter than 1 h. Finally Ostwald ripening is responsible for the growth of particles for longer heat treatment times.

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This work was conducted in the framework of the COMETTi project sponsored by the French national research agency (ANR) under the reference ANR-09-MAPR-0021. The authors wish to thank the “Centre Technologique des Microstructures” (CTµ, for help and advice during the SEM observations and the ‘‘Service Central d’Analyse, SCA, CNRS’’, and particularly P. James and L. Ayouni for chemical analyses.

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Correspondence to Olivier Dezellus.

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Roger, J., Gardiola, B., Andrieux, J. et al. Synthesis of Ti matrix composites reinforced with TiC particles: thermodynamic equilibrium and change in microstructure. J Mater Sci 52, 4129–4141 (2017).

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