Infiltration of magnesium in porous boron skeletons
The feasibility of the infiltration of molten magnesium into porous boron skeleton was examined. The particle size and crystalline state of starting boron powders as well as the confinement of Mg vapors play an important role in successful infiltration. Magnesium penetrates more readily into porous skeletons formed by large crystalline boron particles than those formed by fine amorphous powders. The infiltration of magnesium mainly occurs via capillary condensation rather than liquid flow. Although the infiltrated microstructures are seemingly very dense, nano-scale structures contain many tiny inter-particle voids due to random packing of MgB2 grains. This is due to the absence of a liquid phase in final microstructures as a result of transient liquid-phase infiltration.