Development and characterization of Ti-Sn-SiC and Ti-Nb-SiC composites by powder metallurgical processing

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Mathebula, Christina
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Vaal University of Technology
This work is an investigation in the development and characterisation of porous Ti-Sn-SiC and Ti-Nb-SiC composites. Pure Titanium (Ti), Tin (Sn), Niobium (Nb) and Silicon carbide (SiC) powders were used as starting materials. The Ti-Sn-SiC and Ti-Nb-SiC composites were produced by powder metallurgy (PM) press-and-sinter route. The Sn is an α-phase stabilizer while Nb is a β-phase stabilizer in Ti alloys. A systematic study of binary Ti-Sn and Ti-Nb alloys was conducted with the addition of SiC particles. The addition of Sn influences the microstructure of the titanium alloy. With increasing the percentage of Sn content, the density of the samples decreases on the Ti-Sn alloys. An increase in the Sn content from 10 to 25 wt. % content resulted in decreased hardness. The Ti-Sn binary revealed stability of the HCP phase with increasing composition of the Sn content. The porous structures of the Ti-Sn-SiC composites were evenly distributed throughout the materials. The sintered densities increase from 94.69% to 96.38%. XRD analysis detected the HCP crystal lattice structure for the Ti5.4Sn3.8SiC and Ti5.6-Sn3.8-SiC composites. XRD pattern of the Ti5.8-Sn3.8-SiC reveals both the HCP and FCC crystal structures. The HCP phase has lattice parameters a= 2.920 Å; c=4.620 Å with smaller c/a ratio of 1.589. Additionally, FCC lattice parameter a=5.620 Å Fm-3m # 225 was obtained both for Ti5.8Sn3.8SiC and Ti6.0Sn3.8SiC XRD patterns. On the other hand, Optical microscopy analysis of the Ti-Nb alloys revealed the equiaxed grains composed of the light β-phase segregating on the grain boundaries. The Ti9Nb1 has low Vickers hardness of all alloys while Ti8Nb2 and Ti7.5Nb2.5 alloys are harder due to high amount of Nb content. Generally, the densities of the Ti–Nb alloys increased with increasing Nb content. HCP and BCC phases have the lattice parameters a = 2.951 Å, c = 4.683 Å and 3.268 Å, respectively. An HCP (α′) phase was detected in the Ti8.5Nb1.5 alloy with lattice parameters a = 5.130 Å, c = 9.840 Å while a BCC phase had a = 3.287 Å. The sintered Ti8Nb2 alloy also had the α′-phase with a = 5.141 Å, c = 9.533 Å and BCC phase with a = 3.280 Å lattice parameters. On the contrary, the Ti7.5Nb2.5 alloy formed the α′-phase of a = 5.141 Å, c = 9.533 Å and BCC with a = 3.280 Å lattice parameters. For the 10 and 15 wt.% Nb alloys, very porous structures were observed. The pores appear spherical and widely distributed. As the Nb content is increased to 20 wt.% (Ti7Nb2SiC) and 25 wt.% (Ti7Nb2.5SiC), porosity was minimized. The sintered densities of the Ti-Sn alloys are decreasing from 95.90% to 92.80% with increased amount of Sn in the Ti, while the sintered densities of Ti-Sn-SiC are increasing from 94.69% to 96.38%. The high porosity, which developed in Ti7Nb1SiC and Ti7Nb2.5SiC, affected the densities of these composites. The sintered densities of Ti-Nb alloys are increasing from 92.08% to 97.65% with increased amount of Nb in the Ti. In terms of hardness Ti7Nb1SiC and Ti7Nb2.5SiC resulted in the lowest while Ti7Nb1.5SiC and Ti7Nb2SiC composites were 511.74 HV and 527.678 HV. The porosity levels were increased by the addition of SiC in the Ti-Sn-SiC and Ti-Nb-SiC composites. The XRD analysis revealed phase transformation on the Ti-Nb alloys and Ti-Nb-SiC composites.
M. Tech. (Department of Metallurgical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Technology), Vaal University of Technology.
Binary alloys, Powder metallurgy, Materials, Ti-Sn-SiC composite, Ti-Nb-Sic composite