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Microstructural investigation of diamond-SiC composites produced by pressureless silicon infiltration
Superhard silicon carbide-bonded diamond materials were synthesized by liquid silicon infiltration of diamond-containing preforms. The properties of the materials were strongly influenced by the strength of the interfaces between the diamond and the silicon carbide. Interface formation was investigated through local analysis of the microstructure in the interface regions using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) as well as X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results of these experiments revealed a pronounced orientation relationship between SiC and diamond at their interfaces and, as a result, strong bonding of the diamond particles to the ceramic matrix. There was also an orientation relationship between the nano-sized SiC grains, which were embedded in residual silicon near the diamond interfaces, and diaond. Additionally, the different morphologies and phenomena occurring in the microstructures of the diamond-SiC composites and their dependence on the infiltration temperature were studied.