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Simultaneous spark plasma synthesis and consolidation of WC/Co composites

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2005

Antonio Mario Locci
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica e Materiali, Centro Studi sulle Reazioni Autopropaganti (CESRA), and Unità di Ricerca del Consorzio Interuniversitario per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali (INSTM), Università degli Studi di Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
Roberto Orrù
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica e Materiali, Centro Studi sulle Reazioni Autopropaganti (CESRA), and Unità di Ricerca del Consorzio Interuniversitario per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali (INSTM), Università degli Studi di Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy; and PROMEA Scarl, c/o Dipartimento di Fisica, Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy
Giacomo Cao
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica e Materiali, Centro Studi sulle Reazioni Autopropaganti (CESRA), and Unità di Ricerca del Consorzio Interuniversitario per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali (INSTM), Università degli Studi di Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy; and PROMEA Scarl, c/o Dipartimento di Fisica, Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy
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Abstract

The single-step synthesis and densification of the WC–6Co cemented carbide starting from elemental powders was obtained by the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique. The operating conditions that guarantee the complete conversion of the reactants to the desired full dense material have been identified. Specifically, under the application of 800 A and a mechanical pressure of 40 MPa for about 200 s, a product with relative density higher than 99%, hardness of 14.97 ± 0.35 GPa, and 12.5 ± 1.0 MPa m0.5 fracture toughness was obtained. A kinetic investigation of the SPS process was also performed. It revealed that an intermediate phase, i.e., W2C, is the first carbide formed during the carburization process. It was observed that the synthesis and sintering stages take place simultaneously. It was also found that as the applied pulsed current intensity was augmented, the synthesis/sintering time required decreased significantly.

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Copyright © Materials Research Society 2005

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