Synthesis of MAX phase-based ceramics from early transition metal hydride powders

Nick Goossens, Thomas Lapauw, Konstantina Lambrinou, Jozef Vleugels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


MAX phase ceramics are typically prepared by the reactive sintering of elemental powders that are often coarse, expensive, and prone to oxidation. The temperature-driven dehydrogenation of metal hydride powders offers an alternative synthesis approach, as the hydrides decompose into phase-pure, dimensionally fine elemental powder particles. The increased reactivity of these in situ formed, fine powder particles drastically reduces the formation temperature of the antecedent intermetallic phases, without forming excess binary carbides or facilitating powder oxidation in the Ti-Al-C and Zr-Al-C systems. This work elucidates the effect of metal hydrides on the sequence of formation reactions in MAX phase ceramics. In the Zr-Al-C system, the use of coarse, oxidation-prone elemental Zr powders prevented MAX phase formation, whereas spark plasma sintering of ZrH2 powders at 1500 °C produced ceramics containing 60 wt% Zr3AlC2. Similarly, in the Ti-Al-C system, spark plasma sintering of TiH2 powders at 1200 °C produced phase-pure Ti3AlC2 ceramics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7389-7402
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number16
Early online date30 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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