Silicon-Boron Alloys as New Ultra-High Temperature Phase-Change Materials: Solid/Liquid State Interaction with the h-BN Composite

Abstract

Silicon-boron alloys have been recently pointed out as novel ultra-high temperature phase change materials for applications in Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage (LHTES) and conversion systems. One of the emerging challenges related to the development of such devices is a selection of refractories applicable to build a vessel for storing molten Si-B alloys at high temperatures and under consecutive melting/solidification conditions. Previously, it has been documented that hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is the only one ceramic showing a non-wettability and limited reactivity with Si-B alloys at temperatures up to 1750 °C, what makes it a good candidate of the first selection for the predicted application. Nevertheless, pure h-BN shows a rather low mechanical strength that could affect a durability of the LHTES vessel. Therefore, the main purpose of this work was to examine high temperature behavior of commercial high strength h-BN composite having a nominal composition of h-BN-24ZrO2-6SiC (vol.%) in contact with a solid/liquid eutectic Si-3.2B alloy. Two types of sessile drop experiments were carried out: a step-contact heating up to 1750 °C, and a thermocycling at 1300 − 1450 °C composed of 15 cycles of the alloy melting/solidification. The obtained results showed a lack of wettability in the examined system at temperatures up to 1750 °C. The Si-3.2B alloy presented good repeatability of melting/solidification temperatures in consecutive thermal cycles, which was not affected by the interaction with the h-BN composite. However, due to reactions taking place between the composite’s components leading to structural degradation, it is not recommended to increase operational temperature of this material above 1450 °C.

References

  1. 1.

    Zhang N, Yuan Y, Cao X, Du Y, Zhang Z, Gui Y (2018) Latent heat thermal energy storage systems with solid–liquid phase change materials: a review. Adv Eng Mater 20:1700753

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Cardenas B, Leon N (2013) High temperature latent heat thermal energy storage: phase change materials, design considerations and performance enhancement techniques. Renew Sust Energ Rev 27:724–737

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Fernandez AI, Barreneche C, Belusko M, Segarra M, Bruno F, Cabeza LF (2017) Considerations for the use of metal alloys as phase change materials for high temperature applications. Sol Energ Mat Sol C 171:275–281

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Datas A, Cristobal AB, del Canizo C, Antolín E, Beaughon M, Nikolopoulos N, Nikolopoulos A, Zeneli M, Sobczak N, Polkowski W, Tangstad M, Safarian J, Trucchi DM, Bellucci A, Girolami M, Marx R, Bestenlehner D, Lang S, Vitulano A, Sabbatella G, Marti A (2018) AMADEUS: next generation materials and solid state devices for ultra high temperature energy storage and conversion. AIP Conf Proc 2033:170004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Datas A, Ramos A, Marti A, del Canizo C, Luque A (2016) Ultra high temperature latent heat energy storage and thermophotovoltaic energy conversion. Energy 107:542–549

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Datas A, Zeneli M, Del Canizo C, Malgarinos I, Nikolopoulos A, Nikolopoulos N, Karellas S, Marti A (2018) Molten silicon storage of concentrated solar power with integrated thermophotovoltaic energy conversion. AIP Conf Proc 2033:090005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Yuan Z, Huang WI, Mukai K (2004) Wettability and reactivity of molten silicon with various substrates. Appl Phys A-Mater 78:617–622

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Drevet B, Eustathopoulos N (2012) Wetting of ceramics by molten silicon and silicon alloys: a review. J Mater Sci 47:8247–8260

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Polkowski W, Sobczak N, Nowak R, Kudyba A, Bruzda G, Polkowska A, Homa M, Turalska P, Tangstad M, Safarian J, Moosavi-Khoonsari E, Datas A (2018) Wetting behavior and reactivity of molten silicon with h-BN substrate at ultrahigh temperatures up to 1750 °C. J Mater Eng Perform 27:5040– 5053

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Polkowski W, Sobczak N, Polkowska A, Kudyba A, Bruzda G, Giuranno D (2019) Silicon as a phase change material: performance of h-BN ceramic during multi-cycle melting/solidification of silicon. JOM 71:1492–1498

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Polkowski W, Sobczak N, Bruzda G, Nowak R, Giuranno D, Kudyba A, Polkowska A, Pajor K, Kozie T, Kaban I (2019) The effect of boron content on wetting kinetics in Si-B Alloy/h-BN system. J Mater Eng Perform 28:3819–3825

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Chen L, Wang Y, Shen H, Rao J, Zhou Y (2014) Effect of SiC content on mechanical properties and thermal shock resistance of BN-ZrO2-SiC composites. Mater Sci Eng A 590:346–351

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Zhang X, Zhang R, Chen G, Han W (2008) Microstructure, mechanical properties and thermal shock resistance of hot-pressed ZrO2(3Y)-BN composites. Mater Sci Eng A 497:195–199

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Yang Z, Jia D, Zhou Y, Shi P, Song C, Lin L (2008) Oxidation resistance of hot-pressed SiC-BN composites. Ceram Int 34:317–321

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    http://www.henze-bnp.com/PDF/HeBoSintSinteredBoronNitrideComponents.pdf, accessed on 14/08/2019

  16. 16.

    Polkowski W, Sobczak N, Polkowska A, Nowak R, Kudyba A, Bruzda G, Giuranno D, Generosi A, Paci B, Trucchi DM (2019) Ultra-high temperature interaction between h-BN-based composite and molten silicon. Metall Mat Trans A Phys Metall Mat Sci 50:997–1008

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Sobczak N, Nowak R, Radziwill W, Budzioch J, Glenz A (2008) Experimental complex for investigations of high temperature capillarity phenomena. Mater Sci Eng A 495:43–49

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Olesinski RW, Abbaschian GJ (1984) The B-Si (Boron-Silicon) system. Bull Alloys Phase Diagr, 5

  19. 19.

    Tremblay R, Angers R (1989) Preparation of high purity SiB4 by solid state reaction between Si and B. Ceram Int 15:73–78

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Tremblay R, Angers R (1992) Mechanical characterization of dense silicon tetraboride (SiB4). Ceram Int 18:113–117

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Fahrenholtz WG (2005) The ZrB2 Volatility Diagram. J Am Ceram Soc 88:3509–12

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Weimer AW (1997). In: Weimer AW (ed) Carbide, nitride and boride materials synthesis and processing. Springer, Netherlands, pp 79–113, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-0071-4

  23. 23.

    Yan C h, Liu R, Zhang C h, Cao Y, Long X (2016) Synthesis of ZrB2 Powders from ZrO2, BN, and C. J Am Ceram Soc 99:16–19

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The project AMADEUS has received funds from the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation program, FET-OPEN action, under grant agreement 737054. The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the REA nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Wojciech Polkowski.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

(AVI 31.9 MB)

(AVI 1.96 MB)

(AVI 3.29 MB)

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Polkowski, W., Sobczak, N., Bruzda, G. et al. Silicon-Boron Alloys as New Ultra-High Temperature Phase-Change Materials: Solid/Liquid State Interaction with the h-BN Composite. Silicon 12, 1639–1649 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12633-019-00256-9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Silicon-boron alloys
  • Hexagonal boron nitride
  • Sessile drop method
  • Latent heat thermal energy storage
  • AMADEUS project