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Open-celled silicon carbide foams with high porosity from boron-modified polycarbosilanes

  • Durif, Charlotte
  • Wynn, Mélanie
  • Balestrat, Maxime
  • Franchin, Giorgia
  • Kim, Young-Wook
  • Leriche, Anne
  • Miele, Philippe
  • Colombo, Paolo
  • Bernard, Samuel
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
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Open-Celled silicon carbide (SiC) foams were prepared from a mixture of a boron-modified polycarbosilane as a preceramic polymer and poly(methymetacrylate) (PMMA) microbeads as sacrificial agents. The process consists in the cross-linking of the liquid allylhydridopolycarbosilane (AHPCS, SiC precursor) with borane dimethylsulfide (BDMS, boron source) to form a solid boron-modified polycarbosilane with an adjusted cross linking degree. The latter is mixed with PMMA microbeads (25 pm) in a 20:80 ratio and the mixture is warm pressed at 120 degrees C forming consolidated green bodies to be pyrolyzed at 1000 degrees C under argon and to deliver open celled SiC foams with an interconnected porosity of 73.4 (vol)%. These foams combine a low density with a compressive strength of 3.49 +/- 0.56 MPa and a thermal and mechanical stability under argon up to 1300 degrees C. Ageing and microfiltration tests in the conditions of a primary loop of coolant in a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) showed that foams display a relatively high stability while retaining particles of 5 pm in diameter making these materials as appropriate candidates to work in separation techniques under harsh environments.

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