Microstructure and thermal shock behavior of sol–gel introduced ZrB2 reinforced SiBCN matrix
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Here we assess the effects of selected methods of introducing ZrB2 in SiBCN matrix on microstructure and thermal shock properties prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS). In one approach Zirconium n-propoxide (ZNP), the precursor of zirconia was introduced then reacted with amorphous BN(C) from the matrix, forming ZrB2 phase, labeled as SZ1; A second approach is to introduce ZNP, boric acid, and furfuryl alcohol (C5H6O2) (FA), the precursor of zirconia, boron oxide, and carbon in SiBCN matrix by sol–gel method to form ZrB2 through carbon/borothermal reduction, labeled as SZ2. Results show that ZrB2 particles are distributed homogeneously in SiBCN matrix. For SZ2 system, the grain sizes of ZrB2 (100–500 nm) are much smaller than SZ1 composites(1–1.5 µm). SZ2 shows a higher diffusion rate (16.5 mm2/s) than SZ1 (12.8 mm2/s) at room temperature, and the high-temperature diffusion rate are very close to each other. After rapid quenching, residual stresses are caused by coefficient of thermal expansion mismatch and temperature gradient within the sample. On the other hand, the oxidized products formed on the surface during high temperature exposure could also contribute to thermal stresses causing spallation and enhancing damage.
KeywordsZrB2 SiBCN Sol–gel SPS Microstructure Thermal shock behavior
Yang Miao would like to acknowledge the scholarship from the CSC (China scholarship Council). The authors give thanks to the National Natural Science Foundation of China for support (NSFC, Grant no. 51621091, 51072041, 50902031 and 51021002). The authors also thank Richard M. Laine (Dept. Of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, USA) for help with the language use.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.