Spark plasma joining of ZrB2-SiC composites using zirconium-boron reactive filler layers

William Ross Pinc, Matthew Di Prima, Luke Sky Walker, Zachary N. Wing, Erica L. Corral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Spark plasma joining is used to join ZrB2-SiC composites with seamless microstructures at the joint that results in retention of high-temperature mechanical and oxidation properties after joining. Our approach uses a spark plasma sintering furnace and Zr-B powder filler layers to join the parts together. The joining processing parameters used to optimize the joint microstructure were filler composition, target temperature, hold time, and volume of filler. A filler of 1 mm3 and spark plasma joining conditions at 1800°C for 300 s resulted in the formation of a joint region that was indistinguishable from the bulk substrates. Room and high-temperature (1350°C) shear strengths of joined substrates measured equal to baseline substrates and oxidation behavior for joined and baseline substrates were equivalent after static air oxidation at 1700°C. X-Ray diffraction measurements show the joint is composed of ZrB2 and ZrC. We found the joining mechanism to be solid-state bonding of ZrB2 that formed from the Zr-B filler and reaction bonding by the formation of ZrC. Spark plasma joining rapidly joins ZrB2-SiC and probably other conductive ultra high-temperature ceramic composites, and has the potential to impact the rapid assembly and joining of complex thermal protection material systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3825-3832
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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