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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)


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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