Fe-40wt% TiB2 nanocomposites were fabricated by mechanical activation and spark-plasma sintering of a powder mixture of iron boride (FeB) and titanium hydride (TiH2). The powder mixture of (FeB, TiH2) was prepared by high-energy ball milling in a planetary ball mill at 700 rpm for 3 h followed by spark-plasma sintering (SPS) at various conditions. Analysis of the change in relative sintered density and densification rate during sintering showed that a self-propagating high-temperature synthesis reaction occurs to form TiB2 from FeB and Ti. A sintered body with relative density higher than 98% was obtained after sintering at 1150°C for 5 and 15 min. The microstructural observation of sintered compacts with the use of FE-SEM and TEM revealed that ultrafine particulates with approximately 5 nm were evenly distributed in an Fe-matrix. A hardness value of 83 HRC was obtained, which is equivalent to that of conventional WC-20 Co systems.
Y2O3-MgO nanocomposites are one of the most promising materials for hypersonic infrared windows and domes due to their excellent optical transmittance and mechanical properties. In this study, influence of the calcination temperature of Y2O3-MgO nanopowders on the microstructure, IR transmittance, and hardness of Y2O3-MgO nanocomposites was investigated. It was found that the calcination temperature is related to the presence of residual intergranular pores and grain size after spark plasma sintering. The nanopowders calcined at 1000°C exhibits the highest infrared transmittance (82.3% at 5.3 μm) and hardness (9.99 GPa). These findings indicated that initial particle size and distribution of the nanopowders are important factors determining the optical and mechanical performances of Y2O3-MgO nanocomposites.