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Effect of SiC, TaB2 and TaSi2 additives on the isothermal oxidation resistance of fully dense zirconium diboride

  • Fei Peng, Yolande Berta and Robert F. Speyer (a1)

The oxidation resistances of ZrB2 containing SiC, TaB2, and TaSi2 additions of various concentrations were studied using isothermal thermogravimetry at 1200, 1400, and 1500 °C, and specimens were further characterized using x-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. Increasing SiC concentration resulted in thinner glassy surface layers as well as thinner ZrO2-rich underlayers deficient in silica. This silica deficiency was argued to occur by a wicking process of interior-formed borosilicate liquid to the initially-formed borosilicate liquid at the surface. Small (3.32 mol%) concentrations of TaB2 additions were more effective at increasing oxidation resistance than equal additions of TaSi2. The benefit of these additives was related to the formation of a zirconium-tantalum boride solid solution during sintering, which during oxidation, fragmented into fine particles of ZrO2 and TaC. These particles resisted wicking of their liquid/glassy borosilicate encapsulation, which increased overall oxidation resistance. With increasing TaB2 or TaSi2 concentration, oxidation resistance degraded, most egregiously with TaB2 additions. In these cases, zirconia dendrites appeared to grow through the glassy layers, providing conduits for oxygen migration.

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Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
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