Improved ablation resistance of C-C composites using zirconium diboride and boron carbide

Erica L. Corral, Luke S. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Zirconium diboride and boron carbide particles were used to improve the ablation resistance of carbon-carbon (C-C) composites at high temperature (1500°C). Our approach combines using a precursor to ZrB2 and processing them with B4C particles as filler material within the C-C composite. An oxyacetylene torch test facility was used to determine ablation rates for carbon black, B4C, and ZrB2-B4C filled C-C composites from 800 to 1500°C. Ablation rates decreased by 30% when C-C composites were filled with a combination of ZrB2-B4C particles over carbon black and B4C filled C-C composites. We also investigated using a sol-gel precursor method as an alternative processing route to incorporate ZrB2 particles within C-C composites. We successfully converted ZrB2 particles within C-C composites at relatively low temperatures (1200°C). Our ablation results suggest that a combination of ZrB2-B4C particles is effective in inhibiting the oxidation of C-C composites at temperatures greater than 1500°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2357-2364
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Composites
  • High-temperature materials
  • Precursors-organic
  • Sol-gel processes
  • Thermal properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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