Manufacturing of layered UHTCMCs using pliable, short fibre-reinforced ceramic sheets
MOR M. 1, VINCI A. 1, FAILLA S. 1, GALIZIA P. 1, ZOLI L. 1, SCITI D. 1
1 CNR-ISSMC, Faenza, Italy
To improve the fracture properties of UHTCs, short or long carbon fibres can be added as reinforcement. Nowadays, short carbon fibre-reinforced ZrB2 composites are gaining more interest in industries, especially owing to their convenient manufacturing process and low fabrication costs. Moreover, short fibres are easily introduced in conventional and new manufacturing techniques. Several approaches have been explored to incorporate the short fibre reinforcement in the ceramic matrix, such as ball milling or tape casting, but issues such as fibre damage or the use of large amount of solvents severely limit their application. In order to overcome these limitations, a novel water-based process was developed to homogenously disperse short carbon fibres in a ceramic matrix, maintaining their original dimension and minimizing fibre damage. This new route allows to prepare single sheets in the order of 100 µm thickness with tuneable fibre content, between 0 and ≈ 100 % vol. Then these layers can be overlapped and densified by hot pressing. The sintered samples were tested under bending and were characterized by flexural strengths of 114 - 140 MPa and works of fracture of 108 - 253 J/m2, depending on the amount of fibres. The flexibility of this process allowed the fabrication of graded structures and complex shapes that were investigated by SEM.