Small amount TiB2 addition into B4C through sputter deposition and hot pressing
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2019 The American Ceramic Society Small amount of TiB2 (<5wt%) was added into B4C through a novel method that combines the use of sputter deposition and hot pressing. Sputter deposition provided more uniform dispersion of TiB2 grains with smaller grain sizes as compared to the conventional particulate mixing. Small amount TiB2 addition demonstrated to be an effective way for improving the fracture behavior and toughness of B4C while not sacrificing its outstanding lightweight property to a large extent: 2.3wt% TiB2 addition brought 15% improvement in indentation fracture toughness while resulting in less than 2% increase in density. The improvement can be attributed to the combination of crack impeding by TiB2 grains and crack deflection at the B4CTiB2 interfaces. TiB2 also played as grain growth inhibitor resulting in a slight increase (2%) in Vickers hardness. Another intention of employing sputter deposition was to modify the grain boundary of B4C; however, neither formation of Ti-containing phase nor Ti segregation has been observed at grain boundaries likely due to the poor wettability of B4C.