Vapor-mediated melt infiltration for synthesizing SiC composite matrices

Ravit Silverstein, Frank W. Zok, Carlos G. Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A two-step synthesis of SiC involving initial exposure of carbon surfaces to Si vapor, followed by Si melt infiltration, is investigated in this article with emphases on the mechanisms, kinetics, and microstructure evolution. Interrupted differential thermal analysis of amorphous C and Si powder mixtures and microstructure characterization are used to generate insight into the stages of the reaction. Exposure to Si vapor yields a SiC layer with nano-scale porosity driven by the volume change associated with the reaction. This forms a continuous pore network that promotes subsequent melt access to the reaction front with the C. While the pores remain open, the vapor phase reaction proceeds at a nearly constant rate and exhibits a strong temperature sensitivity, the latter due in part to the temperature sensitivity of the Si vapor pressure. The implications for enhancing the reactive melt infiltration process and fabrication of SiC matrices for ceramic composites are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3833-3844
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • ceramic matrix composites
  • kinetics
  • reaction kinetics
  • silicon carbide
  • vapor-phase deposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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