Spark plasma sintering of commercial zirconium carbide powders: Densification behavior and mechanical properties

Xialu Wei, Christina Back, Oleg Izhvanov, Oleg L. Khasanov, Christopher D. Haines, Eugene A. Olevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


Commercial zirconium carbide (ZrC) powder is consolidated by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS). Processing temperatures range from 1650 to 2100 °C. Specimens with various density levels are obtained when performing single-die SPS at different temperatures. Besides the single-die tooling setup, a double-die tooling setup is employed to largely increase the actual applied pressure to achieve higher densification in a shorter processing time. In order to describe the densification mechanism of ZrC powder under SPS conditions, a power-law creep constitutive equation is utilized, whose coefficients are determined by the inverse regression of the obtained experimental data. The densification of the selected ZrC powder is shown to be likely associated with grain boundary sliding and dislocation glide controlled creep. Transverse rupture strength and microhardness of sintered specimens are measured to be up to 380 MPa and 24 GPa, respectively. Mechanical properties are correlated with specimens' average grain size and relative density to elucidate the co-factor dependencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6043-6061
Number of pages19
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Microhardness (Hv)
  • Power-law creep (PLC)
  • Spark plasma sintering (SPS)
  • Transverse rupture strength (TRS)
  • Zirconium carbide (ZrC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this