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In Situ Reaction Synthesis, Electrical and Thermal, and Mechanical Properties of Nb4AlC3

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In this work, a bulk Nb4AlC3 ceramic was prepared by an in situ reaction/hot pressing method using Nb, Al, and C as the starting materials. The reaction path, microstructure, physical, and mechanical properties of Nb4AlC3 were systematically investigated. The thermal expansion coefficient was determined as 7.2 × 10−6 K−1 in the temperature range of 200°–1100°C. The thermal conductivity of Nb4AlC3 increased from 13.5 W·(m·K)−1 at room temperature to 21.2 W·(m·K)−1 at 1227°C, and the electrical conductivity decreased from 3.35 × 106 to 1.13 × 106Ω−1·m−1 in a temperature range of 5–300 K. Nb4AlC3 possessed a low hardness of 2.6 GPa, high flexural strength of 346 MPa, and high fracture toughness of 7.1 MPa·m1/2. Most significantly, Nb4AlC3 could retain high modulus and strength up to very high temperatures. The Young's modulus at 1580°C was 241 GPa (79% of that at room temperature), and the flexural strength could retain the ambient strength value without any degradation up to the maximum measured temperature of 1400°C.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China

Publication date: 2008-07-01

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