Synthesis of in situ reinforced silicon nitride composites
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The objective of this work was to investigate the effect of two different sintering additives (CeO2 and Y2O3 + Al2O3), sintering time and amount of beta-Si3N4 seeds on the densification. mechanical properties and microstructure of self-reinforced Si3N4 based composites obtained by pressureless sintering. Preparation of beta-Si3N4 seeds, also obtained by a pressureless sintering procedure. is described. Samples without seeds were prepared for comparison. The results imply that self-reinforced silicon nitride based composites with densities close to the theoretical values and with fracture toughness of 9.3 MPa m(1/2) can be obtained using a presureless sintering procedure.