Si3N4-Si2N2O-TiN composite ceramics were in-situ fabricated by using following reactions of (1) 3TiO 2 + Si3N4 → 3TiN + 3SiO2 + N2 and (2) Si3N4+ SiO2 → 2Si2N2O. The mixed powder of α-Si3N 4, Al2O3, Y2O3 and TiO2 was hot-pressed at 24 MPa and 1800°-1900°C for 1-4 h in N2. Sintered composite ceramics were characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM, four-point bending test and Vickers indentation method. XRD results and TEM observation showed that TiN and amorphous SiO2 were formed at 1250°C by the reaction (1), and the Si2N2O phase formed by reaction (2) above 1800°C. Si3N4-Si 2N2O-TiN composites consisted of ≥2 μm sized Si 2N2O grains with TiN and Si3N4 grains. Hardness and fracture strength of the composites were comparable to those of Si2N2O ceramics, with fracture toughness being improved at 5vol% TiN containing composites.
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