The effect of the sintering atmosphere on the densification of B 4C ceramics

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Densification of boron carbide during sintering may be improved by a two-stage process, namely heating to 2000°C under vacuum and sintering at 2190°C under argon. This sintering regime allows achieving a relative density of the ceramic bodies fabricated from a fine powder higher than 95%. The nitrogen treatment of the boron carbide phase at 1900°C leads to the formation of the BN phase and precipitation of graphite. Vacuum treatment of these samples at 2000°C leads to decomposition of the boron nitride phase. The liberated free boron may again react with graphite to form in situ boron carbide particles. The experimental investigations of the sintering behavior of the boron carbide phase under various atmospheres supported the thermodynamic predictions regarding the phase transformation. No evidence, however, was found for enhanced sintering under a nitrogen atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-414
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Solid State Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Boron carbide
  • Densification
  • Nitrogen atmosphere
  • Sintering
  • Thermodynamic prediction


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