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mosi2 powder is a grey tetragonal powder with metallic and ceramic properties, used in industries like metal ceramics, high temperature oxidation resistant coating, high temperature structural materials, aviation and spaceflight etc. The material is easy to work, machinable and can sustain a high heat flux and withstand oxidizing environments.

Preparation of mosi2 powder is usually achieved through silicothermal reduction of molybdenum concentrate (MoS2) by adding silicon in an aqueous solution. However, this process is time consuming and requires a high degree of control since the by-product SiS is difficult to collect, can be disproportionated into SiS2 and Si, or hydrolysed to form H2S gas that is harmful to humans and the environment.

A more efficient and cost-effective way to produce mosi2 is the electric arc discharge (EAED) method. Various EAED processing conditions were studied in terms of voltage and capacitance to optimize the powder synthesis. Using this technique, ultrajine mosi2 powders with an average grain size of 0.1-4 m were successfully produced. In addition, the morphology evolution during the powder synthesis and characterization of the MoSi2 products are also discussed.

The physical, mechanical and thermal properties of a MoSi2/SiC composite were investigated at room temperature. The flexural strength and compressive strength were found to be much higher than the individual components, whereas the elastic modulus was found to be intermediate between the MoSi2 and SiC particles and to obey the rule of mixture (ROM). The composite also demonstrated excellent oxidation resistance at 1600 °C.