Synthesis, properties and thermal decomposition of the Ta4AlC3 MAX phase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Institutes & Expert groups

  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Drexel University
  • Li.U - Linköping University

Documents & links


The present work describes a synthesis route for bulk Ta4AlC3 MAX phase ceramics with high phase purity. Pressure-assisted densification was achieved by both hot pressing and spark plasma sintering of Ta2H, Al and C powder mixtures in the 1200–1650 °C range. The phases present and microstructures were characterized as a function of the sintering temperature by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. High-purity α- Ta4AlC3 was obtained by hot pressing at 1500 °C for 30 min at 30 MPa. The β-Ta4AlC3 allotrope was observed in the samples produced by SPS. The Young’s modulus, Vickers hardness, flexural strength and single-edge V-notch beam fracture toughness of the high-purity bulk sample were determined. The thermal decomposition of Ta4AlC3 into TaCx and Al vapour in high (˜10−5 mbar) vacuum at 1200 °C and 1250 °C was also investigated, as a possible processing route to produce porous TaCx components.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2973-2981
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2019


  • MAX phases, Ta4AlC3, Hot pressing, Spark plasma sintering, Thermal, Decomposition

ID: 5085252