Journal of Advanced Ceramics

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 343–351 | Cite as

Microstructural evolution and performance of carbon fiber-toughened ZrB2 ceramics with SiC or ZrSi2 additive

  • Kaixuan GuiEmail author
  • Fangyu Liu
  • Gang Wang
  • Zhongjia Huang
  • Ping Hu
Open Access
Research Article


ZrB2–SiC/ZrSi2 ceramics containing 30 vol% carbon fiber (Cf) additive were fabricated by hot pressing at low temperature (1500 °C) using submicron ZrB2 powders, and their microstructural evolution and performance were investigated. The addition of SiC or ZrSi2 significantly reduced the onset sintering temperature and enhanced the densification of ZrB2. ZrB2–ZrSi2–Cf showed poor performance owing to the serious fiber degradation, while the fiber degradation was effectively inhibited in ZrB2–SiC–Cf resulting in high fracture toughness, substantial fiber pull-out, and non-brittle fracture mode for such material. The critical thermal shock temperature difference of ZrB2–SiC–Cf was up to 741 °C, significantly higher than those of ZrB2–SiC/ZrSi2 and ZrB2–ZrSi2–Cf. Moreover, this composite displayed a good oxidation resistance at 1500 °C in air.


carbon fibers microstructural evolution hot pressing thermal shock resistance oxidation resistance 



Financial support was provided by Scientific Research Starting Foundation of Anhui Polytechnic University of China (No. 2017YQQ009) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. HIT.BRETIII.201506).


  1. [1]
    Fahrenholtz WG, Hilmas GE, Talmy IG, et al. Refractory diborides of zirconium and hafnium. J Am Ceram Soc 2007, 90: 1347–1364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Guo S-Q. Densification of ZrB2-based composites and their mechanical and physical properties: A review. J Eur Ceram Soc 2009, 29: 995–1011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Monteverde F. Beneficial effects of an ultra-fine α-SiC incorporation on the sinterability and mechanical properties of ZrB2. Appl Phys A 2006, 82: 329–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Zhi W, Zhanjun W, Guodong S. Fabrication, mechanical properties and thermal shock resistance of a ZrB2-graphite ceramic. Int J Refract Met H 2011, 29: 351–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    Silvestroni L, Sciti D, Melandri C, et al. Toughened ZrB2-based ceramics through SiC whisker or SiC chopped fiber additions. J Eur Ceram Soc 2010, 30: 2155–2164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Tang S, Hu C. Design, preparation and properties of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high temperature ceramic composites for aerospace applications: A review. J Mater Sci Technol 2017, 33: 117–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Wang Y, Liu W, Cheng L, et al. Preparation and properties of 2D C/ZrB2–SiC ultra high temperature ceramic composites. Mat Sci Eng A 2009, 524: 129–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Guo S. Hot-pressed laminated composites consisting of ZrB2–SiC ceramic and Cf/ZrB2–SiC composites. J Ceram Soc Jpn 2016, 124: 166–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Yang F, Zhang X, Han J, et al. Mechanical properties of short carbon fiber reinforced ZrB2–SiC ceramic matrix composites. Mater Lett 2008, 62: 2925–2927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Silvestroni L, Fabbriche DD, Melandri C, et al. Relationships between carbon fiber type and interfacial domain in ZrB2-based ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 2016, 36: 17–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Zoli L, Vinci A, Silvestroni L, et al. Rapid spark plasma sintering to produce dense UHTCs reinforced with undamaged carbon fibres. Mater Design 2017, 130: 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Hwang SS, Vasiliev AL, Padture NP. Improved processing and oxidation-resistance of ZrB2 ultra-high temperature ceramics containing SiC nanodispersoids. Mat Sci Eng A 2007, 464: 216–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Zhu S, Fahrenholtz WG, Hilmas GE. Influence of silicon carbide particle size on the microstructure and mechanical properties of zirconium diboride–silicon carbide ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 2007, 27: 2077–2083.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Wang M, Wang C-A, Zhang X. Effects of SiC platelet and ZrSi2 additive on sintering and mechanical properties of ZrB2-based ceramics by hot-pressing. Mater Design 2012, 34: 293–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Guo S, Nishimura T, Kagawa Y. Low-temperature hot pressing of ZrB2-based ceramics with ZrSi2 additives. Int J Appl Ceram Tec 2011, 8: 1425–1435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    Walker LS, Pinc WR, Corral EL. Powder processing effects on the rapid low-temperature densification of ZrB2–SiC ultra-high temperature ceramic composites using spark plasma sintering. J Am Ceram Soc 2012, 95: 194–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    Zamora V, Ortiz AL, Guiberteau F, et al. Spark-plasma sintering of ZrB2 ultra-high-temperature ceramics at lower temperature via nanoscale crystal refinement. J Am Ceram Soc 2012, 32: 2529–2536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    Zamora V, Ortiz AL, Guiberteau F, et al. Crystal-size dependence of the spark-plasma-sintering kinetics of ZrB2 ultra-high-temperature ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 2012, 32: 271–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    Yang F, Zhang X, Han J, et al. Characterization of hot-pressed short carbon fiber reinforced ZrB2–SiC ultra-high temperature ceramic composites. J Alloys Compd 2009, 472: 395–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    Xiao K, Guo Q, Liu Z, et al. Influence of fiber coating thickness on microstructure and mechanical properties of carbon fiber-reinforced zirconium diboride based composites. Ceram Int 2014, 40: 1539–1544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    Zimmermann JW, Hilmas GE, Fahrenholtz WG. Thermal shock resistance of ZrB2 and ZrB2–30% SiC. Mater Chem Phys 2008, 112: 140–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    Thompson M, Fahrenholtz WG, Hilmas G. Effect of starting particle size and oxygen content on densification of ZrB2. J Am Ceram Soc 2011, 94: 429–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    Guo W-M, Zhang G-J. Oxidation resistance and strength retention of ZrB2–SiC ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 2010, 30: 2387–2395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. [24]
    Wang H, Fang ZZ, Hwang KS. Kinetics of initial coarsening during sintering of nanosized powders. Metall and Mat Trans A 2011, 42: 3534–3542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. [25]
    Sciti D, Zoli L, Silvestroni L, et al. Design, fabrication and high velocity oxy-fuel torch tests of a Cf–ZrB2-fiber nozzle to evaluate its potential in rocket motors. Mater Design 2016, 109: 709–717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. [26]
    Sha JJ, Li J, Wang SH, et al. Toughening effect of short carbon fibers in the ZrB2–ZrSi2 ceramic composites. Mater Design 2015, 75: 160–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. [27]
    He X, Guo Y, Zhou Y, et al. Microstructures of short-carbon-fiber-reinforced SiC composites prepared by hot-pressing. Mater Charact 2008, 59: 1771–1775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. [28]
    Hasselman DPH. Strength behavior of polycrystalline alumina subjected to thermal shock. J Am Ceram Soc 1970, 53: 490–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. [29]
    Hu P, Gui K, Hong W, et al. High-performance ZrB2–SiC–Cf composite prepared by low-temperature hot pressing using nanosized ZrB2 powder. J Eur Ceram Soc 2017, 37: 2317–2324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. [30]
    Sciti D, Silvestroni L, Saccone G, et al. Effect of different sintering aids on thermo-mechanical properties and oxidation of SiC fibers-reinforced ZrB2 composites. Mater Chem Phys 2013, 137: 834–842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. [31]
    Gui K, Hu P, Hong W, et al. Microstructure, mechanical properties and thermal shock resistance of ZrB2–SiC–Cf composite with inhibited degradation of carbon fibers. J Alloys Compd 2017, 706: 16–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. [32]
    Zhang X-H, Hu P, Han J-C. Structure evolution of ZrB2–SiC during the oxidation in air. J Mater Res 2008, 23: 1961–1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. [33]
    Rezaie A, Fahrenholtz WG, Hilmas GE. Evolution of structure during the oxidation of zirconium diboride-silicon carbide in air up to 1500. J Eur Ceram Soc 2007, 27: 2495–2501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. [34]
    Vinci A, Zoli L, Landi E, et al. Oxidation behaviour of a continuous carbon fibre reinforced ZrB2–SiC composite. Corros Sci 2017, 123: 129–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Open Access The articles published in this journal are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, 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.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaixuan Gui
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fangyu Liu
    • 1
  • Gang Wang
    • 1
  • Zhongjia Huang
    • 1
  • Ping Hu
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringAnhui Polytechnic UniversityWuhuChina
  2. 2.National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Advanced Composites in Special EnvironmentsHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

Personalised recommendations