Synthesis of Al2O3 matrix composites by reactive infiltration
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Reactive infiltration of a NiO-base blended powder with molten aluminium was attempted at 1673 K in order to obtain Al2O3 matrix composites containing a dispersion of Al3Ni, AlNi and/or AlNi3. The NiO powder was barely infiltrated by the molten aluminium after a 3600 s holding time at 1673 K. A continuous layer of Al2O3 was observed to exist at the infiltration front, which prevented any further infiltration. TiB2 particles were added to the NiO powder in order to absorb the heat of reaction between NiO and aluminium. When the TiB2 particle content in the [NiO+TiB2] powder blend was greater than 20 vol%, spontaneous infiltration occurred completely. Thus, it was shown that the addition of the TiB2 particles assisted in the spontaneous infiltration. The specimens produced by the in situ reaction consisted of Al2O3, TiB2 and Al3Ni. Al3Ni was mainly located between the TiB2 and Al2O3. The effect of the TiB2 addition on the infiltration kinetics was to decrease the maximum attainable temperature caused by the exothermic reaction. This in turn prevented the formation of a continuous Al2O3 film at the infiltration front. This resulted in the production of pathways for the infiltration of the molten aluminium and made possible the complete infiltration.
KeywordsNASH Molten Aluminium Adiabatic Temperature TiB2 Particle Titanium Diboride
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