Anomalous slip of ZrB 2 ceramic grains during in-situ micropillar compression up to 500 °C

T. Csanádi; J. Wehrs; S. Grasso; M. Reece; J. Michler; J. Dusza

International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials 80 (2019) 270-276

The anisotropic deformation behaviour of ZrB 2 grains of basal and prismatic orientations in a polycrystalline ZrB 2 sample was studied during in-situ micropillar compression at room temperature (RT), 350 °C and 500 °C. Micropillars were milled out of large grains by focused ion beam machining; the basal and prismatic orientations were previously identified using electron backscatter diffraction maps. The basal pillars showed brittle behaviour and cracking on the 101¯0 and 21¯1¯0 type prismatic planes that lead to their collapse. For this orientation, the yield/rupture stress ranged between 8 and 14 GPa and it exceeded 12 GPa even at 500 °C. In the prismatic orientation, considerable plasticity was observed, showing a temperature dependent yield stress from 6 to 8 GPa at room temperature to ~2GPa at 500 °C. The activated slip system family was identified as 101¯0112¯3 type for all of the test temperatures (RT, 350 °C and 500 °C). Analysis of the Schmid-factors revealed that the plasticity of the prismatic micropillars is controlled by the temperature dependence of the critical resolved shear stress of the 101¯0112¯3 slip systems. The brittleness of the basal micropillars was influenced by their defect structure (e.g. microcracks) and it was temperature independent due to the absence of slip activation.