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Fabrication of Biomorphic Silicon Carbide from Agriculture Waste Powders

Koay Mei Hyie 1, Salina Budin 1, Husna Elias 2, Anizah Kalam 2, and Rozlin Nik Mohd. Masdek 2
1. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA (Pulau Pinang), 13500 Permatang Pauh, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
2. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract—Biomorphic Silicon Carbide (SiC) has been widely used in industries due to its unique biological structure produced by natural wood. SiC exhibits excellent strength at low density. Besides, using agricultural waste residues such as woods as the starting material can lower the manufacturing cost. In this study, the agriculture waste which was Dark Red Meranti wood powders were chosen as the precursor. The synthesis of biomorphic SiC involved two important stages which are pyrolysis and silicon infiltration. The wood powders were compacted at 160°C for 20 minutes to form a dense pre-template. The compacted wood powders were then experienced pyrolysis process to be converted into a carbon template. Pyrolysis process was conducted at 850°C in argon atmosphere to decompose the wood’s aromatic constituents including cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. The carbon template was then transformed into biomorphic SiC through Silicon (Si) infiltration process at 1500°C. The study aims to investigate the effect of infiltration holding time on the formation of SiC, four different holding times of 1 to 4 hours were used. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was conducted to study the wood decomposition behaviour during carbonization process. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to characterize the microstructure of SiC ceramic. The density and porosity of the sample were determined. Using wood powders as the starting material produced a dense SiC having average pore diameter around 1μm. Due to low porosity and small pore size, the conversion into SiC at early stage was difficult. Better Si infiltration and more SiC formation were found as the holding time was increased. Besides, the density of the biomorphic SiC was increased. On the other hand, the porosity was decreased as more SiC were formed.
Index Terms—biomorphic, SiC, wood powders, dense

Cite: Koay Mei Hyie, Salina Budin, Husna Elias, Anizah Kalam and Rozlin Nik Mohd. Masdek, "Fabrication of Biomorphic Silicon Carbide from Agriculture Waste Powders," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 6, No. 6, pp. 524-528, November 2017. DOI: 10.18178/ijmerr.6.6.524-528