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Title: A Computational-Experimental Study of Plasma Processing of Carbides at High Temperatures

The effects of plasma on carbides were computationally investigated for the ultimate development of adherent, dense scales such as Al2O3-TiO2 systems toward oxidation resistance at 1873 K. An alumina scale forms on the carbide because of the significant stability of Al2O3 as the outer scale adjacent to the gas phase compared to rutile, though TiO and Ti2O3 may form as components of an inner layer of a complicated scale. A sequence of surface reactions starting with the adsorption of oxygen on the surface was applied to experimental data from Donnelly’s research group who reported the adsorption of O2 in a plasma atmosphere as a function of power. In addition to the adsorbed oxygen (Oad) as the rate determining step, it controlled the cascading reaction sequence of the adsorbed species of AlO, AlO2 and AlO3, as indicated in the present study. The rate of oxygen adsorption also depends on the ratio of the final to initial adsorbed oxygen as a function the oxygen potential. In a secondary research thrust, Ti3AlC was synthesized and subsequently oxidized. A 39Ti-14Al-47TiC (in wt%) mixture was equilibrated by using a pseudo-isopiestic technique to form ultimately an aggregate of Ti3AlC, Ti2AlC and TiC phases. The aggregate wasmore » primarily composed of Ti3AlC with minor amounts of Ti2AlC and TiC, as determined by an X-ray diffraction analysis. The Ti3AlC/Ti2AlC/TiC aggregate was subsequently oxidized at 1873 K to form a scale composed of an outer layer of Al2O3-TiO2-Al2TiO5 with an inner layer consisting of TiO-Al2O3- Al4CO3. The measured scale thickness grew according to Wagner’s parabolic growth rate, which estimates an effective diffusion coefficient of 6 (10)-8 cm2/s. The scale appears to grow with Ti ions migrating outward from the Ti3AlC/Ti2AlC/TiC core and oxygen ions diffusing inwardly toward the core. The transient temperature distribution of a cylindrical, carbide packed bed (i.e., B4C) was simulated with COMSOL software to determine the response of the bed to a sudden temperature spike exposed to the outer wall of the bed. The temperature distribution of B4C was similarly heated and compared with Hf and Zr metal. The thermal conductivity of Hf and Zr is higher than the B4C packed bed and hence they respond quicker than B4C. The packed bed still takes approximately 1200 s to plateau the temperature distribution between the cylinder surfaces to the centerline of the carbide packed bed of 5 cm diameter. Though the modeling of the distributions in the carbide packed bed gives an understanding of the transient heat response behavior driven by radiation, the effect of the plasma on the surface temperature of individual carbide particles needs further investigation to understand the plasma contribution to densification of a carbide packed bed.« less
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  1. Univ. of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States)
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Technical Report
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University Of Texas, El Paso, TX (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States