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Densification of Si3N4 with LiYO2 Additive

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This paper deals with the densification and phase transformation during pressureless sintering of Si3N4 with LiYO2 as the sintering additive. The dilatometric shrinkage data show that the first Li2O- rich liquid forms as low as 1250°C, resulting in a significant reduction of sintering temperature. On sintering at 1500°C the bulk density increases to more than 90% of the theoretical density with only minor phase transformation from α-Si3N4 to β-Si3N4 taking place. At 1600°C the secondary phase has been completely converted into a glassy phase and total conversion of α-Si3N4 to β-Si3N4 takes place. The grain growth is anisotropic, leading to a microstructure which has potential for enhanced fracture toughness. Li2O evaporates during sintering. Thus, the liquid phase is transient and the final material might have promising mechanical properties as well as promising high-temperature properties despite the low sintering temperature. The results show that the Li2O−Y2O3 system can provide very effective low-temperature sintering additives for silicon nitride.
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Keywords: additives; densification; silicon nitride

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung and Institut für Nichtmetallische Anorganische Materialien der Universität Stuttgart, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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