In this work, dense monolithic polymer-derived ceramic nanocomposites (SiOC, SiZrOC, and SiHfOC) were synthesized via hot-pressing techniques and were evaluated with respect to their compression creep behavior at temperatures beyond 1000°C. The creep rates, stress exponents as well as activation energies were determined. The high-temperature creep in all materials has been shown to rely on viscous flow. In the quaternary materials (i.e., SiZrOC and SiHfOC), higher creep rates and activation energies were determined as compared to those of monolithic SiOC. The increase in the creep rates upon modification of SiOC with Zr/Hf relies on the significant decrease in the volume fraction of segregated carbon; whereas the increase of the activation energies corresponds to an increase of the size of the silica nanodomains upon Zr/Hf modification. Within this context, a model is proposed, which correlates the phase composition as well as network architecture of the investigated samples with their creep behavior and agrees well with the experimentally determined data.
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