A study has been conducted to determine the feasibility of using Er2Mo3Si4 as a reinforcement phase to improve the high temperature strength of MoSi2. The melting temperature of Er2Mo3Si4 was determined to be 1930 ± 20°C whereas the eutectic of Er2Mo3Si4-39 vol% MoSi2 melted at 1790 ± 10°C. Elevated temperature microhardness tests show that Er2Mo3Si4 has significantly higher hardness than MoSi2 above 1000°C, e.g. approximately 5.8 GPa versus 1.5 GPa at 1300°C, respectively. A MoSi2/Er2Mo3Si4/20p composite was produced by ball milling and hot pressing arc-melted MoSi2-20 vol% Er2Mo3Si4 materials. At 1300°C the MoSi2/Er2Mo3Si4/20p composite and a directionally solidified Er2Mo3Si4-MoSi2 eutectic exhibited hardnesses of 2.4 GPa and 4 GPa, respectively. Preliminary results from compressive decremental step strain rate tests at 1300°C indicate that the creep strength of the MoSi2/Er2Mo3Si4/20p composite is comparable to that of a MoSi2/SiC/20w composite. The creep stress exponent was determined to be 3.3 at 1200°C and 3.7 at 1300°C.
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The authors would like to acknowledge Mr. Jim Garrett of McMaster University for processing of the directionally solidified samples, Mr. Ron Noebe at NASA - Lewis Research Center for providing the DTA measurements and Professor A.K. Ghosh for permitting the use of his equipment for measuring the creep strengths. Also, the assistance of Mr. Carl Henderson of the University of Michigan Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory is appreciated. This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, Grant No. MSM 86-57581.
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Patrick, D.K., Van Aken, D.C. Physical and Mechanical Properties of MoSi2-Er2Mo3Si4 Composites. MRS Online Proceedings Library 288, 1135–1141 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-288-1135