Materials Chemistry and Physics, Vol.193, 348-355, 2017
Reactive sintering and microstructure development of tungsten carbide-AISI 304 stainless steel cemented carbides
Sintering of WC-stainless steel (SS) composites within a typical binder range from 6 up to 15 wt% SS was investigated through constant heating rate dilatometry, in vacuum conditions, complemented by differential thermal analysis and by the study of the high temperature wetting behavior of SS on WC. The densification starts similar to 900 degrees C with a typical densification curve for all compositions, where three distinct regions are discernible: the first one with a slow densification rate, followed by a second region where a sharp increase in the densification rate up to a maximum value dependent on the binder amount is observed and, finally, a third one with a slowdown of the densification rate until the end of the thermal cycle. The attained final density at 1450 degrees C is dependent on the binder amount, increasing proportionally to its initial content. The final microstructure presents a normal grain size distribution and appreciable amounts of eta-phase, besides the major WC phase and residual iron rich phase. The reactive densification behavior and the role of the liquid phase are interpreted accordingly with structural and kinetic data. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.