Thermal stability of nanometric TiC-carbon composites: effects of carbon allotropes and Zr milling impurities


In the ISOL (Isotope Separator OnLine) method a target at high temperatures (up to 2300 degrees C), is bombarded with high energy protons in order to produce isotopes through nuclear reactions which are simultaneously extracted from the target, ionized and delivered to physics experiments. Due to the enhanced isotope release properties of nanosized porous materials, titanium carbide-carbon porous nanocomposites have been developed at CERN and tested up to 1500 degrees C. In the interest of the ISOL application, in this study we extended the range of temperatures up to 1800 degrees C, to test the sintering hindering capabilities of different carbon allotropes. Carbon black was the most effective with the smallest TiC crystallite size: < 80 nm at 1800 degrees C. Additionally, using thermodynamic modelling, ex-situ X-ray powder diffraction and in-situ gas phase analysis, we show that there are interesting additional phase and lattice parameter changes due to the ZrO2 impurities from the attrition milling.




Materials Science


Ramos, JP; Stora, T; Senos, AMR; Bowen, P

nossos autores


The authors would like to acknowledge Carlos Morais for the technical expertise with the attrition milling and during experimental work, Maria Joao Bastos and Artur Sarabando for the XRPD tests, Nicolas Xanthopoulos for the XPS tests. We acknowledge Prof. Jacques Lemaitre for the ANOVA - analysis of variance - calculation tools and Prof. Heinrich Hofmann for the interesting phase diagrams discussions. We would like to acknowledge as well Orion Engineered Carbons, S.A. for supplying the carbon black for this study. The author J.P. Ramos gratefully acknowledge CERN and EPFL for the doctoral studentship funding.

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