Final-stage sintering was analyzed for nominally phase pure zirconium diboride synthesized by borothermal reduction of high-purity ZrO2. Analysis was conducted on ZrB2 ceramics with relative densities greater than 90% using the Nabarro–Herring stress–directed vacancy diffusion model. Temperatures of 1900°C or above and an applied uniaxial pressure of 50 MPa were required to fully densify ZrB2 ceramics by direct current sintering. Ram travel data were collected and used to determine the relative density of the specimens during sintering. Specimens sintered between 1900 and 2100°C achieved relative densities greater than 97%, whereas specimens sintered below 1900°C failed to reach the final stage of sintering. The average grain size ranged from 1.0 to 14.7 μm. The activation energy was calculated from the slope of an Arrhenius plot that used the Kalish equation. The activation energy was 162 ± 34 kJ/mol, which is consistent with the activation energy for dislocation movement in ZrB2. The diffusion coefficients for dislocation motion that controls densification were 5.1 x 10−6 cm2/s at 1900°C and 5.1 x 10−5 cm2/s at 2100°C, as calculated from activation energy and average grain sizes. This study provides evidence that the dominant mechanism for final-stage sintering of ZrB2 ceramics is dislocation motion.


Materials Science and Engineering

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Full Access


National Science Foundation, Grant CMMI‐1902069

Keywords and Phrases

activation energy; densification; modeling; sintering; ZrB 2

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1551-2916; 0002-7820

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2023 Wiley, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2023