Zirconium carbide ceramics were prepared by carbothermal reduction of ZrO2 and C that were mixed by high-energy ball milling. Powders were milled for times from 0 to 120 min in air. As milling time increased, the surface area of the powders increased, indicating significant particle size reduction. Milled powders were reacted at 1600 °C and then densified by spark plasma sintering at 2000 °C, which was sufficient to convert the starting powders to zirconium carbide. Unmilled powders did not reach full density. Milled powders reached full density, but ZrO2 impurities were found for specimens prepared from powders milled for 60 and 120 min. Microstructure analysis showed that grain size was less than 2 µm for ceramics produced from powder milled for 15 min. Based on densification onset temperature and impurity levels, a milling time of 15 min gives the best balance of particle size reduction to promote densification while minimizing impurity levels.


Materials Science and Engineering


Ministarstvo Prosvete, Nauke i Tehnološkog Razvoja, Grant MYP-G5767

Keywords and Phrases

Mechanical activation; Mechanical properties; SEM; SPS; ZrC

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1873-619X; 0955-2219

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2023