Get access

Thermal Expansion of Rare-Earth Pyrosilicates


Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail:


The use of RE2Si2O7 materials as environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) and in the sintering process of advanced ceramics demands a precise knowledge of the coefficient of thermal expansion of the RE2Si2O7. High-temperature X-ray diffraction (HTXRD) patterns were collected on different RE2Si2O7 polymorphs, namely A, G, α, β, γ, and δ, to determine the changes in unit cell dimensions. RE2Si2O7 compounds belonging to the same polymorph showed, qualitatively, very similar unit cell parameters behavior with temperature, whereas the different polymorphs of a given RE2Si2O7 compound exhibited markedly different thermal expansion evolution. The isotropy of thermal expansion was demonstrated for the A-RE2Si2O7 polymorph while the rest of polymorphs exhibited an anisotropic unit cell expansion with the biggest expansion directed along the REOx polyhedral chains. The apparent bulk thermal expansion coeficcients (ABCTE) were calculated from the unit cell volume expansion for each RE2Si2O7 compound. All compounds belonging to the same polymorph exhibited similar ABCTE values. However, the ABCTE values differ significantly from one polymorph to the other. The highest ABCTE values correspond to A-RE2Si2O7 compounds, with an average of 12.1 × 10−6 K−1, whereas the lowest values are those of β- and γ-RE2Si2O7, which showed average ABCTE values of ~4.0 × 10−6 K−1.