Flexural Creep Deformation of ZrB2/SiC Ceramics in Oxidizing Atmosphere


  • Y. Blum—contributing editor

  • Presented at the AFOSR Workshop on Ultra-High-Temperature Ceramic Materials hosted by SRI International, July 23–25, 2007.

†Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail: inna.talmy@navy.mil


Flexural creep of ZrB2/0–50 vol% SiC ceramics was characterized in oxidizing atmosphere as a function of temperature (1200°–1500°C), stress (30–180 MPa), and SiC particle size (2 and 10 μm). Creep behavior showed strong dependence on SiC content and particle size, temperature and stress. The rate of creep increased with increasing SiC content, temperature, and stress and with decreasing SiC particle size, especially, at temperatures above 1300°C. The activation energy of creep showed linear dependence on the SiC content increasing from about 130 to 511 kJ/mol for ceramics containing 0 and 50 vol% 2-μm SiC, respectively. The stress exponent was about 2 for ZrB2 containing 50 vol% SiC regardless of SiC particle size, which is an indication that the leading mechanism of creep for this composition is sliding of grain boundaries. Compared with that, the stress exponent is about 1 for ZrB2 containing 0–25vol% SiC, which is an indication that diffusional creep has a significant contribution to the mechanism of creep for these compositions. Cracking and grain shifting were observed on the tensile side of the samples containing 25 and 50 vol% SiC. Cracks propagate through the SiC phase confirming the assumption that grain-boundary sliding of the SiC grains is the controlling creep mechanism in the ceramics containing 50 vol% SiC. The presence of stress, both compressive and tensile, in the samples enhanced oxidation.