Grain Boundary Engineering for the Control of Mechanical Properties and Oxidation-Induced Embrittlement in Silicon Carbides
Grain boundary engineering (GBE) is rapidly emerging recently as a powerful tool for achieving enhanced properties and performance in polycrystalline metallic materials. The objective of this work is to confirm the potential of GBE for enhancement in properties and performance in ceramic materials such as silicon carbide (SiC). Grain boundary microstructure in SiC could be tailored by doping with different elements (Mg, Al and P) and modifying sintering processing (hot-pressing and spark plasma sintering). FEG-SEM/OIM analyses revealed that both Al doping and SPS increased the frequency of low-energy special boundaries (Σ ≤29 ) and Mg doping enhanced grain growth. It was found that mechanical properties like microhardness depended on the grain boundary character distribution (GBCD) and the grain size. The increment in the frequency of special boundaries could yield increases in the Vickers-microhardness and the fracture stress. Furthermore, intergranular oxidation-induced brittleness in SiC was noticeably improved by increase in the frequency of special boundaries and decrease in the grain size. Thus, we have confirmed that the control of grain boundary microstructure such as grain size, GBCD and grain boundary connectivity is a key for enhancement in bulk properties and performance in ceramic materials.
Kikuo Kishimoto, Masanori Kikuchi, Tetsuo Shoji and Masumi Saka
S. Tsurekawa et al., "Grain Boundary Engineering for the Control of Mechanical Properties and Oxidation-Induced Embrittlement in Silicon Carbides", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 261-263, pp. 999-1004, 2004