This paper reports on anisotropy of functional properties of different silicon carbide-graphene composites due to preferential orientation of graphene layers during sintering. Dense silicon carbide/graphene nanoplatelets (SiC/GNPs) and silicon carbide/graphene oxide (SiC/GO) composites were sintered in the presence of yttria (Y2O3) and alumina (Al2O3) sintering additives at 1800 °C in vacuum by the rapid hot pressing (RHP) technique. It is found that electrical conductivity of SiC/GNPs and SiC/GO composites increases significantly in the perpendicular direction to the RHP pressing axis, reached up to 1775 S/m in the case of SiC/GO (for 3.15 wt.% of rGO). Also, thermal diffusivity was found to increase slightly by the addition of GNPs in the SiC/GNPs composites in the perpendicular direction to the RHP pressing axis. But, in the parallel direction, the addition of GNPs showed a negative effect. The formation of graphene domains was observed in reference sample SiC-Y2O3-Al2O3 sintered by RHP, without any addition of graphene. Their presence was confirmed indirectly by increasing electrical conductivity about three orders of magnitude in comparison to the reference sample sintered by conventional hot press (HP). Raman, SEM and TEM analysis were used for direct evidence of presence of graphene domains in RHP reference sample.
Graphene nanoplatelets; Graphene oxide; Silicon carbide; Functional properties; Anisotropy