Synthesis of Ti matrix composites reinforced with TiC particles: thermodynamic equilibrium and change in microstructure

Abstract : The evolution of TiC reinforcement during the high-temperature consolidation step of a particulate-reinforced Ti matrix composite has been studied. A four-step scenario has been highlighted starting with the dissolution of the smallest particles to reach C saturation of the Ti matrix, followed by a change in the TiC stoichiometry from the initial TiC 0.96 composition to the equilibrium composition (TiC 0.57). This change in composition induces an increase in both the total mass fraction of reinforcement and the particle diameter. The diameter increase promotes contact between individual particles in the most reinforced domains and initiates an aggregation phenomenon that is responsible for the observed high growth rate of particles for heat treatment times shorter than 1h. Finally Ostwald ripening is responsible for the growth of particles for longer heat treatment times. 1. Introduction In the general context of structural lightening in the aerospace industry, Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) materials have attracted much interest over the past decades because of their high specific mechanical properties (relative to density) compared to existing metallic alloys. Of the fibers or particulate materials used as reinforcement for Ti-based composites, titanium carbide (TiC) has been widely investigated because of its excellent chemical compatibility with the matrix alloys [1–3]. Ti-TiC composites can be prepared by different routes although the most widely used is the classical powder metallurgy route [4, 5]. The nature of bonding at the matrix-reinforcement interface and the existence and extent of any reaction zone determine, to a large extent, the properties of the composite material. From the binary TiC phase diagram (see Figure 1-[6]), the expected interaction between a Ti-based matrix and commercial stoichiometric TiC particles, consists of the formation of a sub-stoichiometric form of the carbide according to reaction (1):
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Journal of Materials Science, Springer Verlag, 2017, 52, pp.4129 - 4141. 〈10.1007/s10853-016-0677-y〉
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Jérôme Roger, Bruno Gardiola, Jérôme Andrieux, Jean-Claude Viala, Olivier Dezellus. Synthesis of Ti matrix composites reinforced with TiC particles: thermodynamic equilibrium and change in microstructure. Journal of Materials Science, Springer Verlag, 2017, 52, pp.4129 - 4141. 〈10.1007/s10853-016-0677-y〉. 〈hal-01441763〉

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