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Powder mixtures of Ti/Si/C, Ti/SiC/C, Ti/Si/TiC, Ti/SiC/TiC and Ti/TiSi2/TiC were used for the synthesis of Ti3SiC2 by using a pulse discharge sintering (PDS) process. The Ti/Si/TiC powder was found to be the best among the five powder mixtures for the Ti3SiC2 synthesis. The highest content of Ti3SiC2 can be improved to about 99wt% at the sintering temperature of 1300°C for 15 minutes. The relative density of all the synthesized samples is higher than 98–99% at the sintering temperature above 1275°C. The nearly single phase Ti3SiC2 was found to show plastic deformation at room temperature and a good machinability. Both electrical and thermal conductivity were found to be more than two times of the value of a control pure Ti sample. The high-temperature mechanical tests confirmed that the Ti3SiC2 samples synthesized by the PDS process displayed a comparable performance with those fabricated by the other techniques.
Discrete element method (DEM) is one of the excellent procedures for model simulation of behavior of granular assemblies. A two-dimensional DEM simulation of powder compaction by a complex mold was conducted by considering the deformation behavior of individual particles measured by a compression test of free particles. Spherical copper particles were used as a model material in this study. The particles (particle size ranges from 38 to 125microns) were individually compressed between parallel platens to measure compressive load and displacement in the loading direction. From the measured load and displacement data, force-displacement relations at contacts between the particles, and between the particles and mold wall were determined. In the simulation, the two-dimensional complex mold consisting of three stages (upper stage:3-mm wide and 1-mm deep, middle stage:2-mm wide and 1-mm deep, lower stage:1-mm wide and 1-mm deep) was charged with the copper powder consisting of spherical particles with size range of 50 to 200microns and was pressed under four press conditions. Forces at all contacts were calculated by using the determined force-displacement relations and each particle's position was traced by solving equations of motion for each particle. Pressure at each wall of the mold and density distribution in the powder compact were calculated as results of the simulation. It was found that the increase in the pressure at each wall corresponds to the increase in the density of the powder near the wall.
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