Porous Ti3SiC2 was fabricated with high purity, 99.4 vol %, through reactive sintering of titanium hydride (TiH2), silicon (Si) and graphite (C) elemental powders. The reaction procedures and the pore structure evolution during the sintering process were systematically studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Our results show that the formation of Ti3SiC2 from TiH2/Si/C powders experienced the following steps: firstly, TiH2 decomposed into Ti; secondly, TiC and Ti5Si3 intermediate phases were generated; finally, Ti3SiC2 was produced through the reaction of TiC, Ti5Si3 and Si. The pores formed in the synthesis procedure of porous Ti3SiC2 ceramics are derived from the following aspects: interstitial pores left during the pressing procedure; pores formed because of the TiH2 decomposition; pores formed through the reactions between Ti and Si and Ti and C powders; and the pores produced accompanying the final phase synthesized during the high temperature sintering process.
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