A comparative study of the feasibility of cellular MAX phase preforms formation by microwave-assisted SHS and SPS techniques
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Two methods were evaluated in terms of manufacturing of MAX phase preforms characterized with open porosity: microwaveassisted self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) and spark plasma sintering (SPS). The main purpose of fabrication of such open-porous preforms is that they can be successfully applied as a reinforcement in metal matrix composite (MMC) materials. In order to simulate the most similar conditions to microwave-assisted SHS, the sintering time of SPS was significantly reduced and the pressure was maintained at a minimum value. The chosen approach allows these two methods to be compared in terms of structure homogeneity, complete reactive charge conversion and energy effectivity. Study was performed in Ti-Al-C system, in which the samples were compacted from elemental powders of Ti, Al, C in molar ratio of 2:1:1. Manufactured materials after syntheses were subjected to SEM, XRD and STEM analyses in order to investigate their microstructures and chemical compositions. ...