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Study on the local damage mechanisms in WC-Co hard metals during scratch testing

  • Siphilisiwe Ndlovu (a1), Karsten Durst (a2), Heinz Werner Hoeppel (a3) and Mathias Goeken (a4)

Abstract

The effect of the cobalt content and WC grain size on the deformation behaviour of WC-Co hard metals was investigated by studying materials with a varying WC grain size and cobalt content. The WC grain size ranged from 2.65 to 0.25 µm and the binder content ranged from 6 to 15 wt%. Single and multiple scratch tests were conducted using a Nano indenter with a Berkovich diamond tip and the load ranged from 5 to 500 mN with a tip sliding velocity of 10 µm/s. Several damage mechanisms were observed and these show a combination of ductile and brittle wear. The bulk properties i.e. composite properties of the hard metal determine the wear in the 6 wt% Co samples on the other hand the 15 wt% Co samples exhibited a localised response to the wear i.e. the wear is determined by the individual phases in the hard metal.

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1 Jia, K., Fischer, T.E., Sliding wear of conventional and nanostructured cemented carbides, Wear 203/204, 310318 (1997)
2 Durst, K., Göken, M., Micromechanical characterisation of the influence of Rhenium on the mechanical properties in nickel-base superalloys, Materials Science and Engineering A 387–389, 312316 (2004)
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4 Mulliah, D., Christopher, D., Kenny, S. D., Smith, Roger, Nanoscratching of silver (100) with a diamond tip, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B202, 294299 (2003)
5 Ndlovu, S., Durst, K., Göken, M., Investigation of the wear properties of WC-Co hard metals using nanoscratch testing, Wear 263, 16021609 (2007)
6 Anand, K. and Conrad, H., Microstructue and scaling effects in the damage of WC-Co alloys by sinfle impacts of hard particles, Journal of Materials Science 23, 29312942 (1988)

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