Mechanical and microstructural properties of cordierite-bonded porous SiC ceramics processed by infiltration technique using various pore formers
Cordierite-bonded porous SiC ceramics were prepared by air sintering of cordierite sol infiltrated porous powder compacts of SiC with graphite and polymer microbeads as pore-forming agents. The effect of sintering temperature, type of pore former and its morphology on microstructure, mechanical strength, phase composition, porosity and pore size distribution pattern of porous SiC ceramics were investigated. Depending on type and size of pore former, the average pore diameter, porosities and flexural strength of the final ceramics sintered at 1400 °C varied in the range of ~ 7.6 to 10.1 µm, 34–49 vol% and 34–15 MPa, respectively. The strength–porosity relationship was explained by the minimum solid area (MSA) model. After mechanical stress was applied to the porous SiC ceramics, microstructures of fracture surface appeared without affecting dense struts of thickness ~ 2 to 10 µm showing restriction in crack propagation through interfacial zone of SiC particles. The effect of corrosion on oxide bond phases was investigated in strong acid and basic salt medium at 90 °C. The residual mechanical strength, SEM micrographs and EDX analyses were conducted on the corroded samples and explained the corrosion mechanisms.
The authors would like to thank SERB, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (GAP-0239), for financial support.