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Effects of trace amount of nanometric SiC additives with wire or particle shapes on the mechanical and thermal properties of alumina matrix composites

Jiraborvornpongsa, Noppasint, Imai, Masamitsu, Yoshida, Katsumi, Yano, Toyohiko
Journal of materials science 2013 v.48 no.20 pp. 7022-7027
additives, aluminum oxide, hardness, nanowires, thermal conductivity, thermal stability
SiC nanowires (SiCNWs) are suitable candidates used as additives to improve the thermal conductivity of alumina, since they exhibit superior properties such as high chemical and thermal stability. In this study, alumina matrix composites reinforced with very small amount of β-SiC/SiO₂core–shell nanowires were fabricated by hot-pressing. They were first characterized and compared with alumina matrix specimens containing SiC nanopowder. It was found out that with 0.2 wt% SiC additives, the grain sizes of the alumina specimens were reduced by 20 % of that of the monolithic one, regardless of the shape of the SiC additives. Vickers hardness of specimen containing both SiCNWs and SiC nanopowders slightly increased, while fracture toughness decreased more than that of the monolithic alumina. Thermal conductivity of the specimens increased with increased amount of SiCNWs and was better than those of the specimens containing SiC nanopowders. The alumina composite containing 0.2 wt% SiCNWs had higher thermal conductivity than that of the monolithic alumina by as much as 45 %. From these results, it is clear that only small amount of nanosized SiC as an additive material, particularly SiCNWs, has a significant effect on the properties of alumina matrix composites.