- Fabrication of dense nanocrystalline TiC by spark plasma sintering was studied. TiC nano-particles 34 nm in size were densified by spark plasma sintering at 100 MPa for 5 min between 1100 °C and 1700 °C. The density linearly increased between 1100 °C and 1500 °C from 72% to 97%. Density of 98% was reached at 1700 °C compared to 76% for the micrometer size reference powder. The main densification occurred during the heating and resulted in nanocrystalline to submicrometer size grains. Lattice parameter decreased and Ti/C ratio increased with the temperature from stoichiometric TiC (1.17) towards that of Ti2C (1.77). A unique layered microstructure in regions a few tens to hundreds of micrometer in size, composed of TiC/Ti2C, resembled the flow pattern characteristic of cooperative particle sliding in granular materials.Highlights► Dense nanocrystalline TiC formed at 100 MPa for 5 min between 1100 °C and 1500 °C. ► Lattice parameter decreased and Ti/C ratio increased with the sintering temperature. ► Layered microstructure formed characteristic of cooperative particle sliding.