Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Engineering
The densification behavior, microstructure and mechanical properties of bulk TiB2-based ceramic composites, fabricated using the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique with elements of (Fe–Ni–Ti–Al) sinter-aid were investigated. Comparing the change of shrinkage displacement of pure TiB2 and TiB2–5 wt% (Fe–Ni–Ti–Al), the addition of elements Fe–Ni–Ti–Al into TiB2 can facilitate sintering of the TiB2 ceramics. As the sintering temperature exceeds 1300 °C, the relative density does not significantly change. Alumina particles and austenite (Fe–Ni–Ti) metallic binder distributed homogeneously in the grain boundary of TiB2 can inhibit the growth of the TiB2 grains when the sintering temperature is below 1300 °C. The density and particle size of TiB2 greatly influence the mechanical behavior of TiB2–5 wt% (Fe–Ni–Ti–Al) composites. The specimen sintered at 1300 has the highest microhardness of 21.1 ± 0.1 GPa with an elastic modulus of 461.4 GPa. The content of secondary borides (M2B, being M = Fe, Ni), which are more brittle than TiB2 particles, can also influence the fracture toughness. The specimen sintered at 1500 °C has the highest fracture toughness of 6.16 ± 0.30 MPa•m1/2 with the smallest M2B phase. The results obtained provide insight into fabrication of ceremic composites with improved mechanical property.
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