Preparation and Properties of Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics Based on ZrC and HfC
Successful preparation of massive compact bodies from ultra-high temperature ceramics like zirconium carbide, hafnium carbide and their cermets with tungsten matrix with high values of mechanical parameters is difficult. Only limited number of techniques is able to perform it because of their absolutely highest melting points. In our contribution the preparation of these materials by both - hot pressing and plasma spraying techniques is described and chemical processes taking part at the fabrication are studied. Hot-pressed products fabricated at 2000°C and 6 GPa partly react with the internal surface of the BELT-type apparatus. Melting and solidification is taking place at plasma spraying. This process, carried out by water stabilized plasma torch with centerline temperature up to 30 000°C, is joined with undesirable reactions with plasma-forming medium, with oxidation in a turbulent plasma flow and nitridation of free-flight particles. All these chemical processes depend on variety of parameters, such as particle size of the feedstock powders or electric power of the arc. The mentioned parameters are easily controlled. Other, less controllable, factors include trajectory of powder particles in the plasma jet, important for the melting degree as well as for oxidation or nitridation of the powder surface. New knowledge concerning properties of compact ZrC and HfC were obtained.
J.-L. Bobet, B. Chevalier and D. Fruchart
V. Brozek et al., "Preparation and Properties of Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics Based on ZrC and HfC", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 170, pp. 37-40, 2011