Microstructures and fracture toughness of directionally solidified Mo-ZrC eutectic composites

Teppei Suzuki, Hiroaki Matsumoto, Naoyuki Nomura, Shuji Hanada

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Microstructures and fracture toughness of arc-melted and directionally solidified Mo-ZrC eutectic composites were investigated in this study. Two kinds of directionally solidified composites were prepared by spot-melting and floating zone-melting. Microstructure of the arc-melted composite (AMC) consists of equiaxed eutectic colonies, in which ZrC particles are dispersed. The spot-melted composite (SMC) exhibits spheroidal colony structure, which is rather inhomogeneous in size and morphology. ZrC fibers in the eutectic colonies are aligned almost parallel to the growth direction. Well aligned, homogeneous columnar structure with thin ZrC fibers evolves in the floating zone-melted composite (FZC). Texture measurement by X-ray diffractometry revealed that the growth direction of Mo solid solution (MoSS) in FZC is preferentially 〈100〉, while that of SMC is scattered. Fracture toughness KQ evaluated by three point bending test using the single edge notched beam method is >13 MPa m1/2 for AMC, 20 MPa m1/2 for SMC and 9 MPa m1/2 for FZC. Intergranular fracture along colony boundaries is often observed in AMC. In contrast, transgranular fracture is dominant in SMC and FZC, although significant gaps caused by intergranular fracture are occasionally observed in SEM micrographs of SMC. Fracture surface in FZC is wholly flat. Pull-out of ZrC occurs owing to Mo/ZrC interfacial debonding in intergranularly fractured regions of AMC and SMC. Coarse elongated colonies in SMC and FZC induce transgranular fracture instead of intergranular fracture. Intergranular fracture and interfacial debonding in AMC and SMC causes frequent crack deflection accompanied by ligament formation and crack branching, which is responsible for the high fracture toughness of the composites. Preferred 〈100〉 growth of MoSS phase in FZC leads to brittle {100} cleavage fracture associated with low fracture toughness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalScience and Technology of Advanced Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Mar


  • Directional solidification
  • Eutectic composite
  • Fracture surface
  • Fracture toughness
  • Molybdenum
  • Zirconium carbide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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