Glass-ceramics for ceramic/ceramic and ceramic/metal joining applications
The use of sintered cordierite/enstatite glass-ceramics as interlayers for joining silicon nitride to itself and to metals has been investigated. The role of the additives B203 and P205, which control the dynamics of sintering and crystallisation, has been studied using SEM, XRD and non-isothermal DTA-based measurements of activation energy. The measured activation energies for the crystallisation of μ-cordierite, for compositions with no additives, with B203 only, and with P205 only, did not differ significantly and were in the range 415-460 kJ mol-1. When both B203 and P205 were present this was increased to 503-524 kJ mol-1. The activation energy for α-cordierite formation when no additives were present was 952 ± 57 kJ mol-1. This was substantially reduced by the presence of B203 (540 ± 27 kJ mol-1), P205 (668 ± 41 kJ mol-1) and when both were present (352 ± 26 kJ mol-1). Cordierite/enstatite glass-ceramics have been successfully used to join silicon nitride to itself. Joining at 1050-1100'C in N2 with an applied load of ~ 2.5 MPa, resulted in joint strengths, measured in 4-pt bending, of 110-170 MPa. This is comparable to the intrinsic strength of the glass-ceramic and sufficient for practical applications. These strengths were obtained using an interlayer with a TCE (5.7 MK-1) greater than that of the silicon nitride (3.0 MK-1). Suggestions for further improvements to the joint strength are discussed. The use of a glass-ceramic joint with graded thermal expansion to bridge a TCE mismatch is discussed, and the geometrical restrictions on the joint, which limit possible practical applications, are outlined. The concept of a ceramic/metal compression joint with a glass-ceramic interlayer has been demonstrated for joining silicon nitride to both Nimonic alloy 80A and Ti. The requirements for continuity of electronic structure at the Nimonic 80A/glass-ceramic and the Ti/glass-ceramic interfaces are satisfied by reaction between the glass/glass-ceramic and, the pre-oxidised surface of the Nimonic alloy to form a MgTi205-Al2TiO5 solid solution phase, and the Ti to form Ti5Si3. For the lower WE mismatch (Ti-silicon nitride) the residual joining stresses generated on cooling were marginally too high and need to be further reduced, either by a slight alteration to the joint geometry and/or a smaller WE mismatch.