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Reactively sintered B4C-TiB2 composites: Effects of nanolayer films and secondary phase size on mechanical and fracture properties

This publication relates to work that QCML performed with collaborators at University of North Texas and deals with advanced ceramic materials.  In this work composite powders of boron carbide and titanium diboride were consolidated using spark plasma sintering.   Theoretical densities over 99% were achieved.  The samples were consolidated in a nitrogen atmosphere, which resulted in formation of nanolayer films of BN and TiOxNy at grain boundaries.  Samples fabricated with coarse TiB2 particles resulted in increased fracture toughness, but at the cost of reduced strength, while fine TiB2 samples resulted in increased strength.  The results of this research show potential to increase the effectiveness of lightweight ceramic armor through use of TiB2-B4C composites.  The authors appreciate the funding received from Army Research Lab Cooperative Agreement W911NF-18-2-0067 for enabling this work.

Spark Plasma Sintering Process

H. Lide, V. Ageh, J. Smith, J. Rodriguez, E.J. Faierson, T.W. Scharf, “Reactively sintered B4C-TiB2 composites: Effects of nanolayer films and secondary phase size on mechanical and fracture properties,” Materialia, October 2022.

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