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Alumina-Ti3SiC2 composites. Processing and mechanical characterization of an structural ceramic resistant to damage and solid autolubricated (A-MAX COMPOSITES)
Start date: 01 Oct 2007, End date: 30 Sep 2009 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Ti3SiC2 has recently attracted attention due to an unusual combination of properties due to its particular layered atomic structure. In particular, it shows typical properties of ceramics (high stiffness, high strength and resistance to oxidation).On the other hand, it is quasi-plastic, relatively hard, thermal shock resistant, and under certain conditions self-lubricant. Motivated by these properties, this project will study Al2O3-Ti3SiC2 composites for structural applications. A damage tolerant, high toughened, and possessing a low coefficient of friction is expected for this novel composite.Specifically, processing by hot pressing and a basic characterization (density, hardness, microstructural observation, electrical conductivity) will be followed by a n advanced mechanical characterization. The mechanical characterization comprises from different strength and toughness measurements to indentations. Also tribology, edge chipping tests, impact response and thermal shock tolerance will be assessed.After optimization of basic properties, samples will be delivered to different European institutions that have shown interest in researching additional topics (creep, fatigue and wettability by molten metals), therefore creating a research network that will help to maintain and create links between the organizations and develop the inexistent European knowledge on Ti3SiC2.This project offers adequate opportunity for the fellow's development. In fact, he will become a key professional figure able to understand and evaluate the relationship among processing, microstructure and mechanical properties of ceramics by completing his education on topic such as wear, impact or thermal shock.Others skills such as tutoring young researchers or research management will complete his background.
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