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Research Article

Microstructure analysis and mechanical properties of reaction-bonded B4C-SiC composites

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  • Received: 28 May 2020Revised: 2 October 2020Accepted: 6 October 2020Available online: 7 October 2020
  • Reaction-bonded B4C-SiC composites are highly promising materials for many advanced technological applications. However, their microstructure evolution mechanism remains unclear. Herein, B4C-SiC composites were fabricated by the Si melt infiltration process. The influence of sintering time and B4C content on the mechanical properties, microstructure, and phase evolution were investigated. X-ray diffraction results showed the presence of SiC, boron silicon, boron silicon carbide, and boron carbide. Scanning electron microscopy results showed that with the increasing of boron carbide addition, the amount of Si content decreased and the amount of unreacted B4C increased. Unreacted B4C diminished with increasing sintering time and temperature. The further microstructure analysis showed a transition area between B4C and Si, with a C concentration marginally higher in the transition area than in the Si area. It indicates that after the silicon infiltration,diffusion mechanism is the primary sintering mechanism of the composites. As the diffusion process progresses, the hardness increases. The maximum values of the Vickers hardness, flexural strength, and fracture toughness of the reaction bonded B4C/SiC ceramic composite with 12wt% B4C content sintered at 1600℃ for 0.5 h are 2600 HV, 330 MPa, and 5.2 MPa·m0.5, respectively.
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Microstructure analysis and mechanical properties of reaction-bonded B4C-SiC composites

  • Corresponding author:

    Jian-feng Yang    E-mail: yang155@mail.xjtu.edu.cn

  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Die &Mould Technology, School of Material Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
  • 2. State Key Laboratory for Mechanical Behavior of Materials, School of materials science and Engineering,Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, 710049, China
  • 3. State Key Laboratory of Environment-friendly Energy Materials, School of materials science and Engineering,Southwest University of Science and Technology,Mianyang 621010,China

Abstract: Reaction-bonded B4C-SiC composites are highly promising materials for many advanced technological applications. However, their microstructure evolution mechanism remains unclear. Herein, B4C-SiC composites were fabricated by the Si melt infiltration process. The influence of sintering time and B4C content on the mechanical properties, microstructure, and phase evolution were investigated. X-ray diffraction results showed the presence of SiC, boron silicon, boron silicon carbide, and boron carbide. Scanning electron microscopy results showed that with the increasing of boron carbide addition, the amount of Si content decreased and the amount of unreacted B4C increased. Unreacted B4C diminished with increasing sintering time and temperature. The further microstructure analysis showed a transition area between B4C and Si, with a C concentration marginally higher in the transition area than in the Si area. It indicates that after the silicon infiltration,diffusion mechanism is the primary sintering mechanism of the composites. As the diffusion process progresses, the hardness increases. The maximum values of the Vickers hardness, flexural strength, and fracture toughness of the reaction bonded B4C/SiC ceramic composite with 12wt% B4C content sintered at 1600℃ for 0.5 h are 2600 HV, 330 MPa, and 5.2 MPa·m0.5, respectively.

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