Comminution of B4C powders with a high-energy mill operated in air in dry or wet conditions and its effect on their spark-plasma sinterability

Angel L. Ortiz, Florentino Sánchez-Bajo, Victor Manuel Candelario Leal, Fernando Guiberteau

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Volume37
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)3873-3884
ISSN0955-2219
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • B4C
  • Comminution
  • Ball-milling
  • Spark-plasma sintering

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