Journal of the European Ceramic Society vol:32 issue:10 pages:2519-2527
Dense ZrB2-20 vol% SiC ceramics (ZS) were fabricated by hot pressing using self-synthesized high purity ZrB2 and commercial SiC powders as raw materials. The high temperature flexural strength of ZS and its degradation mechanisms up to 1600 degrees C in high purity argon were investigated. According to the fracture mode, crack origin and internal friction curve of ZS ceramics, its strength degradation above 1000 degrees C is considered to result from a combination of phenomena such as grain boundary softening, grain sliding and the formation of cavitations and cracks around the SiC grains on the tensile side of the specimens. The ZS material at 1600 degrees C remains 84% of its strength at room temperature, which is obviously higher than the values reported in literature. The benefit is mainly derived from the high purity of the ZrB2 powders. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.