Synthesis of High Temperature Ceramic Powders – IP 1647

High temperature ceramic (HTC) and ultrahigh temperature ceramics (UHTC) have high melting points above ~2500-300 ºC. These ceramics in the form of powders, monolithic ceramics, or composites, find many important applications from grinding and cutting material in machinery and mining industries to thermal insulation tiles, missile nozzles, and hypersonic vehicle leading edges in the aerospace industry. Reducing the size for HTC and UHTC powders from microns to submicron and even nanometer range offers additional benefits such as post-synthesis powder processing by reducing the need for extensive grinding, lowering the sintering temperature and associated energy consumption for materials processing and densification, and helping produce manufactured parts with sub-micron or even nano-sized grains, which often leads to further improved mechanical properties for the ceramic materials. In addition, nano-powders offer flexibility in subsequent processing to make bulk ceramics. Although synthesis of nano-sized HTC has been researched, most methods reported in the literature suffer from some drawbacks either in terms of cost, product quality, or process safety. Even for synthesis based on solution-based processing that involves carbothermal reduction reaction (CTR) as the final step, the process typically consists of multiple individual steps for a batch process, with each step lasting for hours affecting the productivity. FIU inventors use a single step high temperature spray pyrolysis process for forming high temperature ceramic powders that incorporates the various processes including drying/solvent evaporation, pyrolysis, and in situ CTR all in one single pass that finishes within one minute or so. Shantanu Balkundi sbalkund@fiu.edu 305-348-8061

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