Uniformly dense, diamond-silicon carbide composites having high hardness, high fracture toughness, and high thermal stability are prepared by consolidating a powder mixture of diamond and amorphous silicon. A composite made at 5 GPa/1673K had a measured fracture toughness of 12 MPam.sup.1/2. By contrast, liquid infiltration of silicon into diamond powder at 5 GPa/1673K produces a composite with higher hardness but lower fracture toughness.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.