Fabrication and Characterization of SiC fiber reinforced HfB2 Ceramics for Space Propulsion Components

ISSN online 2612-4882
ISSN print 2612-4408

Press Register No. 3/19, Court of Forlì
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Clara Musaa,b, Roberta Licherib, Roberto Orrùb, Renato Maroccoc, Giacomo Caob,d
aInnovative Materials S.r.l., Sestu (Cagliari), Italy
bDipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica, Chimica e dei Materiali, Unità di Ricerca del Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali (INSTM), Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
cAVIO S.p.A., Colleferro, Roma, Italy
dDistretto Aerospaziale della Sardegna (DASS) Scarl, c/o Sardegna Ricerche, Cagliari, Italy



Cylindrical disks composed of HfB2-26 vol%SiCf are successfully fabricated by combining the Self-propagating High temperature Synthesis (SHS) and Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) processes. Specifically, HfB2 powders synthesized by SHS are mixed with SiC fibers and the resulting mixture is consolidated by SPS. The presence of SiC fibers was retained in the nearly full dense materials sintered at 1800 °C. The measured values of Vickers hardness, fracture toughness, flexural strength and elastic modulus at room temperature are 21.6±0.8 GPa, 6.2±0.5 MPa·m0.5, 429±45 MPa and 312±17 GPa, respectively. The obtained products are found to well resist to ablation, with weight losses below 0.25% when exposed to the most aggressive heat flux conditions (1250 W/cm2). A nozzle component of the desired shape and size is finally obtained for space propulsion applications after electrical discharge machining the SPS material.
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