Effects of carbon nano-additives on characteristics of TiC ceramics prepared by field-assisted sintering
Five carbonaceous nano-additives (graphite, graphene, carbon black, carbon nanotubes, and diamond) had different impacts on the sinterability, microstructural evolution, and properties of titanium carbide. In this research, the sintering by spark plasma was employed to produce the monolithic TiC and carbon-doped ceramics under the sintering parameters of 1900 ºC, 10 min, 40 MPa. The carbon black additive had the best performance in densifying the TiC, thanks to its fine particle size, as well as its high chemical reactivity with TiO2 surface oxide. By contrast, the incorporation of nano-diamonds resulted in a considerable decline in the relative density of TiC owing to the graphitization phenomenon, together with the gas production at high temperatures. Although carbon precipitation from the TiC matrix occurred in all samples, some of the added carbonaceous phases promoted this phenomenon, while the others hindered it to some extent. Amongst the introduced additives, carbon black had the most contribution to grain refining, so that a roughly halved average grain size was attained in comparison with the undoped specimen. The highest values of hardness (3233 HV0.1 kg), thermal conductivity (25.1 W/mK), and flexural strength (658 MPa) secured for the ceramic incorporated by 5 wt% nano carbon black.
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