B. Agyei-Tuffour, E. Annan, E. R. Rwenyagila, E. Ampaw , E. Arthur, K. Mustapha, S. Kolawole, W. O. Soboyejo, & D. D. Radev
Boron-containing ceramics find large application in production of superhard and high-temperature materials with application in nuclear and aerospace techniques, military industry etc. The synthesis methods are decisive for the complexity of chemical, morphological and technological properties of these materials. The traditional high-temperature synthesis methods have some disadvantages leading to inconstancy of the product composition due to the boron evaporation, degradation of the furnace materials and contamination of the products, high energy losses etc. Here we show the advantages of some untraditional synthesis methods like direct mechanical synthesis and self propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) in the production of titanium diboride (TiB2), zirconium diboride (ZrB2) and production of dense boron carbide (B4C) based materials. Using SEM, TEM, XRD and analytical chemical methods, it was shown that diborides of titanium and zirconium have appropriate properties for production of dense ceramic materials. Using the method of mechanically-assisted sintering high-dense B4C-based ceramic materials was obtained. It was shown that the mechanical properties of materials obtained by pressureless sintering are close or overcome the corresponding properties of boron carbide densified by the method of hot pressing. The possibility to produce B4C-based ceramics with controlled properties was also shown.