The comminution of a typical submicrometre B4C powder with a high-energy mill (i.e., a shaker mill) operated in air in either a dry or a wet environment was investigated. It was found that dry shaker milling (i.e., high-energy ball-milling) is able to progressively refine the B4C particles to the nanoscale. While this is accompanied by oxidation and aggregation, these are not serious drawbacks. Wet shaker milling in methanol (i.e., conventional ball-milling) resulted only in a moderate B4C particle refinement with greater contamination by the milling tools, which limits its usefulness. It was also found that both dry and wet milling modify the B4C crystal structure, attributable to carbon enrichment. Consequently, dry shaker milling was found to be more recommendable than wet shaker milling to provide B4C starting powders with superior sinterability. A comparative densification study by spark-plasma sintering confirmed this recommendation, and also showed the usefulness of dry shaker milling to obtain refined B4C microstructures for structural applications.
|Journal||Journal of the European Ceramic Society|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
- Spark-plasma sintering