The effect of mechanical activation process on the microstructure and mechanical properties of bulk nanostructured Ti2AlN compound has been investigated in this work. The mixture of Ti and AlN powders was prepared in a 2:1 molar ratio, and a part of this powder was subjected to a high-energy milling process under argon atmosphere for 10 h using agate as grinding media. Finally, the densification and formation of the ternary Ti2AlN MAX phase through solid state reaction of both unmilled and milled powders were carried out by hot pressing under 15 or 30 MPa at 1200 °C for 2 h. The microstructure of precursor powder mixtures and the consolidated samples was characterized by using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS). The X-ray diffraction patterns were fitted using the Rietveld refinement for phase quantification and to determine their most important microstructural parameters. Microstructure and mechanical properties of the consolidated samples were correlated with the load used for the hot pressing process. The substantial increase of hardness, the higher densification and the lower grain sizes observed in the samples prepared from the activated powders were attributed to the formation of second phases like Ti5Si3 and Al2O3.
- Hot pressing
- MAX phase
- Mechanical activation process