2002 Volume 43 Issue 3 Pages 428-431
Pulse discharge sintering (PDS) technique was employed to synthesize the ternary compound Ti3SiC2 from four starting powder mixtures. The experimental results demonstrated that when the starting material of 3Ti/Si/2C or 3Ti/SiC/C was used high content of the secondary phase, TiC, higher than 30 mass%, was found in the sintered material. When TiC powder as starting material was used (Ti/Si/2TiC) in the same stoichiometric composition, however, the final sintered product contained low TiC content of a few percent. Further adjusting the composition to the off-stoichiometric of 2Ti/2Si/3TiC, the content of the secondary phase TiC was further controlled to be around 1 mass%. In the materials sintered from Ti/Si/2TiC and 2Ti/2Si/3TiC an optimum sintering temperature exists at 1573 K, at which the highest Ti3SiC2 phase purity was achieved. When sintered at the optimum temperature a density of higher than 99% was obtained. At the optimum sintering temperature, both the phase purity and the density of the material sintered from 2Ti/2Si/3TiC showed very little dependence on the sintering time ranging from a few minutes to four hours, indicating the phase stability at this temperature.