Effective Production and Recycling of Powder Materials
Al2O3-TiCN-Fe composites were successfully prepared by hot pressing using natural ilmenite, aluminum, and carbon. The process of aluminothermic reduction of ilmenite and the influence of carbon on the phase evolution, synthetic products, microstructure, and properties were investigated using x-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and mechanical analysis. The XRD results showed that the reduction process of the FeTiO3-2Al system was a gradual deoxygenation process. In the FeTiO3-2Al-xC systems, carbon participates in the reduction reaction to form TiN, which gradually transforms to TiCN. The carbon content had a great influence on the presence of titanium oxides during the reaction. In addition, the grain size of Al2O3, TiCN, and Fe phases became smaller as the carbon content was increased. When the carbon content was 0.88 mol, the synthesized products achieved comprehensive mechanical properties, i.e., bending strength and Vickers hardness of 375 MPa and 15.5 GPa, respectively.
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The authors acknowledge financial support from The Ministry of Education “Chunhui Plan” Cooperative Research Project (16201417), the Key Research Project of Xihua University (Z1520102), Xihua University Key Laboratory Open Fund Project (SZJJ2014-061), and Scientific Research Project in Sichuan Province Department of Education (15201444).