Fracture toughness determination and microstructure investigation of a B4C-NanoTiB2 composite with various volume percent of Fe and Ni additives

Hamidreza Latifi, Alireza Moradkhani*, Hamidreza Baharvandi, Jukka Martikainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Boron carbide (B4C) has wide application in manufacturing of abrasives and cutting tools, due to its unique features such as high hardness, good wear resistance, low specific weight and chemical stability. An additive reinforcing phase and sintering aids are used to improve its sinterability. In the present paper, a B4C composite with 10vol.% of titanium diboride nanoparticles (TiB2) and a 0, 1.5 and 2.5vol.% iron or nickel metallic additive, respectively, was mixed in an isopropanol environment containing tungsten carbide pellets. After drying, the obtained mixture was formed by cold pressing. The obtained parts were sintered at 2400°C. The effect of adding metallic sintering aids on the mechanical properties and microstructure of the composite was investigated and fracture toughness values were evaluated by indentation test method. Addition of Fe and Ni improved values for density, hardness, Young's modulus and fracture toughness, with Ni addition increasing the values considerably. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the microstructure of the specimens showed the arrangement posture of the additives and confirmed the results obtained. Additionally, the FeB and Ni3B blades formation were observed from the images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials & design (1980-2015)
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Boron carbide
  • Iron
  • Mechanical properties
  • Nanocomposite
  • Nickel
  • Titanium diboride

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