Boron carbide (B4C) powder was consolidated at 45 MPa by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) for 20 min from 1450 to 2000 °C. The density of the B4C reached 99.6% at 2000 °C. A continuum model was applied to describe the densification mechanism of B4C powder under SPS conditions. The shrinkage rate was sensitive to particle size and temperature. The effect of porosity on thermal diffusion was significant, especially for small particle sizes. It appears that there is Joule heating, discharge, and electromagnetic field involved during the SPS of B4C. The current can enhance the sintering process, and it can obviously reduce the creep activation energy.
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This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51301210), supported by State Key Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy of Central South University and State Key Laboratory of New Ceramic and Fine Processing of Tsinghua University.
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Liu, Ja., Zeng, F., Zou, Z. et al. Continuum modeling of B4C densification during Spark Plasma Sintering. Journal of Materials Research 32, 3425–3433 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2017.205