Non-oxide ceramic composites prepared by sol-gel and spark plasma sintering processes

Manyuan Zhou
Ultra High Temperature Ceramics (UHTCs) are the most promising candidates for high temperature applications in extreme environments, such as conditions experienced during re-entry of out space flying objects, for their known high melting points, good chemical and thermal stability and high thermal conductivity. To improve the densification and oxidation resistance of UHTCs, a second phase, such as silicon carbide, is usually added to monolithic UHTCs to form ceramic matrix composites. While
more » ... s/composites have many unique advantages for high temperature applications, they are very difficult to densify due to their very strong covalent chemical bonds and very high melting point. Conventional methods for processing UHTCs usually use powders as starting materials. A major issue of the conventional methods is the poor mixing/processing of powders with different densities and sizes, especially for nano-sized powders. Thus more research needs to be focused on improving UHTCs' densification, microstructure and properties. This thesis studies the development of novel sol-gel techniques for preparation of starting materials and spark plasma sintering (SPS) for densification of UHTCs and composites. The thesis is organized into eight chapters. The First Chapter is an introduction to the thesis structure organization. The Second Chapter is the background of the research and literature review. Chapter Three is a description of the experimental procedures and characterization techniques. In the first result chapter, Chapter Four, silicon nitride ceramic and silicon nitride/titanium nitride composite were fabricated by hot pressing and spark plasma sintering (SPS) respectively to study the effect of the SPS DC current on the densification, microstructure and properties of conductive and non-conductive materials. A sol-gel based approach was investigated to improve the UHTC ceramics/composites with fine microstructures in Chapter Five. Although sol-gel techniques may not be suitable for making large bulk materials, they have [...]
doi:10.4225/03/58ae4b645a7f6 fatcat:vyxj6yur25fmllv5rnj3oqj3di