polymer-derived porous eramics characterization synthesis


The synthesis and characterization of porous SiCN ceramics produced by the method of polymer-derived ceramics were studied in this work. The polymer-to-ceramic conversion technique is a novel revolution in the methods for fabricating porous materials with controlled morphologies and tailored properties. The porous SiCN ceramics can be successfully prepared from thermal decomposition of polymeric precursors (polysilazane) and the pore former (polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)). The fabrication procedures involved the mixing of the pre-ceramic precursor with appropriate concentration of the PVA, curing, pyrolysis and subsequent PVA removal, leaving pores in the ceramic matrix. The material obtained revealed a homogeneous amorphous microstructure consisting of Si, C and N elements. The effects of the concentration and the particle size of PVA on the bulk density, open porosity, line shrinkage, microstructure, pore size, permeability, mechanical behavior, oxidation behavior and thermal stability were examined in this thesis. An increase in both concentration and particle size of PVA contribute to a decrease in the bulk density and an increase in the open porosity and line shrinkage. The morphology development, in particular, was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The properties in terms of the pore size and permeability were measured by the water expulsion method. The mechanical behavior of the porous SiCN ceramic was characterized by the three- point bending strength test, thermal shock strength test and hertzian indentation strength test. The flexural strength and hertzian indentation strength of these porous ceramics at room temperature decrease with an increase in porosity. However, the flexural strength after thermal shock was significantly improved by increasing the temperature change. The oxidation behavior and thermal stability of porous SiAlCN ceramics were also explored by the mass change versus oxidation time and temperature. The phase evolution at different temperatures was also investigated by XRD analysis.


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Graduation Date



An, Linan


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering








Release Date

September 2009

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)