Vacuum Heat Treatment of MgO -Densified Pressureless Sintered Silicon Nitride Ceramics
Silicon nitride samples were pressureless sintered with up to 5 w/o MgO to give densities in the range 98-99% of theoretical. After pressureless sintering, selected samples were placed in a vacuum heat treatment furnace surrounded by a carbon bed in a carbon crucible at a pressure of less than 4x10-4 mbar, and vacuum heat treated at different temperatures and times to remove grainboundary glass. The results showed that this was substantially achieved at 1575oC for 3h and that increasing the time to 5 hours gave still further improvement. SEM images, EDX analysis and oxidation tests provided additional evidence for the removal of Mg from the samples.
V. Demir and D. P. Thompson, "Vacuum Heat Treatment of MgO -Densified Pressureless Sintered Silicon Nitride Ceramics ", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 554, pp. 107-112, 2007