Processing, Microstructure, and Mechanical Properties of Hot-Pressed ZrB₂ Ceramics with a Complex Zr/Si/O-Based Additive


Densification behavior, microstructure, and mechanical properties of zirconium diboride (ZrB2) ceramics modified with a complex Zr/Si/O-based additive were studied. ZrB2 ceramics with 5-20 vol.% additions of Zr/Si/O-based additive were densified to >95% relative density at temperatures as low as 1400°C by hot-pressing. Improved densification behavior of ZrB2 was observed with increasing additive content. The most effective additive amount for densification was 20 vol.%, hot-pressed at 1400°C (∼98% relative density). Microstructural analysis revealed up to 7 vol.% of residual second phases in the final ceramics. Improved densification behavior was attributed to ductility of the silicide phase, liquid phase formation at the hot-pressing temperatures, silicon wetting of ZrB2 particles, and reactions of surface oxides. Room temperature strength ranged from 390 to 750 MPa and elastic modulus ranged from 440 to 490 GPa. Vickers hardness ranged from 15 to 16 GPa, and indentation fracture toughness was between 4.0 and 4.3 MPa·mm1/2. The most effective additive amount was 7.5 vol.%, which resulted in high relative density after hot-pressing at 1600°C and the best combination of mechanical properties.


Materials Science and Engineering


This project was funded under subcontract 10-S568-0094-01-C1 through the Universal Technology Corporation under prime contract number FA8650-05-D-5807.

Keywords and Phrases

Densification; Mechanical Properties; Microstructure; ZrB 2; ZrSi2

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1744-7402; 1546-542X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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Publication Date

01 Nov 2021