A method of sintering a composite body characterized by a transition metal carbide phase (such as a ZrC phase) substantially evenly distributed in a second, typically refractory, transition metal (such as W) matrix at ambient pressures, including blending a first predetermined amount of first transition metal oxide powder (such as ZrO2) with a second predetermined amount of second transition metal carbide powder (such as WC powder). Next the blended powders are mixed to yield a substantially homogeneous powder mixture and a portion of the substantially homogeneous powder mixture is formed into a green body. The body is fired to a first temperature, wherein the first transition metal oxide is substantially reduced and the simultaneously generated CO and gas are evolved from the body to substantially eliminate oxides from the green body, and the body is heated to a second temperature and sintered to yield a composite body of about 99 percent theoretical density and characterized by a first transition metal carbide phase distributed substantially evenly in a second transition metal matrix.


Materials Science and Engineering


Research leading to this invention was federally supported by grant nos. FA8650-04-C5704 from the U.S. Department of the Air Force. The government has certain rights in this invention.

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Publication Date

19 Jan 2010