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Suggestions for sintering ZrC pellets

Suggestions for sintering ZrC pellets

Suggestions for sintering ZrC pellets

(OP)
Hi everybody,
I need to produce some partially sintered ceramic pellets consisting of about 90%ZrC-10%Al4C3.  Both powders are -325mesh.  Basically I just want necking to begin so that I can handle them without breaking them.  They will later be infiltrated with a liquid metal, so they need to remain porous.  
So far I have tried cold pressing with ~2% PVA, then firing at 1800C in vacuum.  This did nothing to hold the pellets together, they crumbled apart in the furnace.  I realize the vacuum was a mistake since the Al4C3 most likely decomposed, so the next try will likely be in argon, but will most likely not be reaching temps that high again.  I may be able to hot press as well.  
Does anyone have any suggestions on this material?  I'm having trouble finding information elsewhere since nobody uses the stuff (ZrC).
Thanks,

Chris

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