This paper explores a new processing method to fabricate porous zirconium tungstate (ZrW2O8 or ZT) with the porosity content up to 40% in volume. The method uses spherical graphite powders that are mechanically stable, allowing us to compact with ceramic powders in dry condition. Thus, the ceramic powders mixed with spherical graphite powders can be compacted and sintered to a near full density. During sintering, the graphite powders burn out without damaging the powder compact due to their inherent near-zero thermal expansion. The processing route discussed in this paper is applicable to all oxide ceramics where the sintering can take place in air and above 700°C to dissociate the graphite. In this paper, we have applied this processing technique to fabricate porous ZrW2O8. Many porous ZrW2O8 with a range of porosity levels were fabricated and tested for their theromomechanical properties including elastic modulus (E) and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). The experimentally determined properties were compared with the predictions based on the micromechanical Mori-Tanaka scheme.

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