Skip to main content

Hardness Measurements and Interface Behavior of SiC-B4C-Si Multiple Phase Particulate Composites Made with Melt Infiltration and Additive Manufacturing

by Corson L Cramer, Ercan Cakmak, Kinga A Unocic
Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Composites Science
Publication Date
Page Number

Reaction-bonded SiC-B4C-Si ceramic composites were binder jet 3D-printed and subsequently pressureless-melt-infiltrated with molten Si. The addition of B4C aided the Si infiltration to produce a highly dense composite. The microstructures and phases of these composites were examined. The measured hardness values of each constituent with Vickers and nanoindentation matched the bulk values, and the macro-hardness values with Knoop and spherical indentation represented the bulk, composite hardness values of all three phases together, which was close to a rule of mixtures value. For particulate-based composites, this is a significant finding. The interfacial bonds of SiC and Si were imaged using scanning transmission electron microscopy to view intimacy, whereas the crack propagation was examined with carefully placed indents. This work demonstrated that pressureless melt infiltration with a reactive particle provides a method to shape non-wetting reaction-bonded ceramic composites with limited shrinkage and high density and provides insights into the mechanical behavior with numerous indentation techniques.