Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 January 2011
Boron carbide (B4C) is currently used in lightweight armors and high temperature materials, because it has high meting point, good hardness, low specific gravity and good mechanical properties. The sintering of boron carbide, however, is restricted by its high covalent bonding and B2O3 coatings on B4C particles surface which can cause a microstructural coarsening during sintering. Therefore, it is necessary to remove B2O3 film of By4C particles surface to restrict microstructural coarsening and densification of B4C. B4C ceramics were fabricated by a hot-press sintering and its sintering behavior, microstructure and mechanical properties were evaluated. The relative density of B4C ceramics were obtained by a hot-press sintering reached as high as 99% without any sintering additives. The mechanical properties of B4C ceramics was improved by a methanol washing which can remove B2O3 phase from a B4C powder surface. This improvement is resulted from the formation of homogeneous microstructure because the grain coarsening was suppressed by the elimination of B2O3 phase. Particularly, the mechanical properties of the sintered samples using a methanol washed powder improved compared with the samples using an as-received commercial powder.
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