Influence of processing on the microstructural evolution and multiscale hardness in titanium carbonitrides (TiCN) produced via field assisted sintering technology

Douglas E. Wolfe, Christopher M. DeSalle, Caillin J. Ryan, Robert E. Slapikas, Ryan T. Sweny, Ryan J. Crealese, Petr A. Kolonin, Sergei P. Stepanoff, Aman Haque, Simon Divilov, Hagen Eckert, Corey Oses, Marco Esters, Donald W. Brenner, William G. Fahrenholtz, Jon Paul Maria, Cormac Toher, Eva Zurek, Stefano Curtarolo

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Titanium carbonitride (TiCN) is an advanced, high-performance hard ceramic of great commercial importance that has been widely developed and employed. Nonetheless, it has only been in recent years that binderless titanium carbonitride bulk ceramics have been successfully fabricated using field-assisted sintering technology (FAST). However, the underlying structure-processing-property-performance relationships have yet to be fully evaluated, especially concerning indentation hardness of these materials across a broad range of loads and deformation length scales. In this work we aim to address these fundamental relationships and characterize the multiscale hardness phenomena in detail. It was found that the effects of soak temperature and time directly impacted the sintered microstructure and were reflected in the observed mechanical properties over various loads. Valuable insight into the load-dependence of hardness distributions, sensitivity/correlation with elastoplastic parameters, and multiscale parameterization were developed using micro-/nanoindentation. Particularly, the load-dependent hardness sensitivity and resolvability demonstrate a fundamental tradeoff with respect to the manifested mechanical response influenced by the presence of underlying heterogeneities. These new insights relating the interplay of compositional/microstructural evolution with FAST processing parameters and multiscale hardness are an important step in advancing next-generation hard ceramics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101682
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science

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