Anisotropic and Hierarchical Porosity in Multifunctional Ceramics
LICHTNER, AARON ZEV
MetadataShow full item record
The performance of multifunctional porous ceramics is often hindered by the seemingly contradictory effects of porosity on both mechanical and non-structural properties and yet a sufficient body of knowledge linking microstructure to these properties does not exist. Using a combination of tailored anisotropic and hierarchical materials, these disparate effects may be reconciled. In this project, a systematic investigation of the processing, characterization and properties of anisotropic and isotropic hierarchically porous ceramics was conducted. The system chosen was a composite ceramic intended as the cathode for a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Comprehensive processing investigations led to the development of approaches to make hierarchical, anisotropic porous microstructures using directional freeze-casting of well dispersed slurries. The effect of all the important processing parameters was investigated. This resulted in an ability to tailor and control the important microstructural features including the scale of the microstructure, the macropore size and total porosity. Comparable isotropic porous ceramics were also processed using fugitive pore formers. A suite of characterization techniques including x-ray tomography and 3-D sectional scanning electron micrographs (FIB-SEM) was used to characterize and quantify the green and partially sintered microstructures. The effect of sintering temperature on the microstructure was quantified and discrete element simulations (DEM) were used to explain the experimental observations. Finally, the comprehensive mechanical properties, at room temperature, were investigated, experimentally and using DEM, for the different microstructures.