Oxidation characteristics of Ti3AlC2 over the temperature range 500-900 degrees Celcius
Titanium aluminium carbide (Ti3AlC2) displays a unique combination of characteristics of both metals and ceramics coupled with an unusual combination of mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. In this research, the oxidation characteristics of Ti3AlC2 over the temperature range 500-900 degrees Celcius were studied by synchrotron radiation diffraction (SRD) and secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) experiments which provided elemental and phase compositional depth profiles over this range. Evidence for the outward diffusion of Al during oxidation was shown for the first time by the complementary SIMS results, which suggested the existence of amorphous Al or aluminium oxide at low temperature oxidation. At 500 degrees Celcius, only anatase-TiO2 was detected by SRD in addition to the parent Ti3AlC2. Transformation of anatase to rutile was observed at 600 degrees Celcius and was completed by 900 degrees Celcius. The crystalline phase alpha-Al2O3 was detected at 900 degrees Celcius but not at lower temperatures.