Microstructural Evolution of Composite 8 WC-(Co, Ni): Effect of the Addition of SiC
Tungsten carbide (WC) based cemented carbides, also called hardmetals, are a family of composite materials consisting of carbide ceramic particles embedded in a metallic binder. They are classified as metal matrix composites (MMCs) because the metallic binder is the matrix that holds the bulk material together . WC based composites are used in applications where a good combination of hardness and toughness are necessary . It is usual to add more components to tailor the microstructure of the WC-(Co, Ni) system. The hardness for the cemented carbides based on nickel, increases significantly because of the addition of reinforcements like SiC nanowhisker . In this work, the SiC was considered as an additional component for the composite WC-8(Co, Ni). Four mixtures were prepared with SiC contents ranging from 0 to 3.0 wt%. These mixtures were pressed (200 MPa) and green samples with 25.2 mm of diameter and 40 g were produced. Sintering was carried out in Sinter-HIP furnace (20 bar). Two sintering temperatures were investigated, i.e. 1380 and 1420oC, and the sintering time considered was 60 minutes. The relative density, hardness, linear and volumetric shrinkage were determined. Microstructural evaluation was investigated by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM-FEG). The results showed that the addition of SiC promoted higher densification and grain size growth. The hardness was higher for samples with SiC, so solid solution hardening of the binder was more effective than WC grain size growth.
Andreas Öchsner, Graeme E. Murch, Ali Shokuhfar and João M.P.Q. Delgado
F. Miranda et al., "Microstructural Evolution of Composite 8 WC-(Co, Ni): Effect of the Addition of SiC", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vol. 371, pp. 78-85, 2016