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Microwave Sintering hard metal (WC–Co)

Author: langfeng1 Time: 2020-09-03

In 1991, J. Cheng first showed that WC/Co composites could be sintered in a microwave field. Gerdes and Willert‑Porada

also reported the sintering of similar WC objects from normal size powders, but they followed a reactive sintering route

using a mixture of pure W, C and Co instead of normal sintering. In a parallel study at Penn State fully sintered WC/Co

commercial green bodies were also achieved in a multimode , microwave system and it was observed that microwave

processed WC/Co bodies exhibited much better mechanical properties than the conventional parts, fine and uniform

microstructure with little grain growth, and nearly full density without adding any grain-growth inhibitors when sintered

at 1250–1320°C for only 10–30 mins.26–28 The microstructural examination of the microwave sintered WC/Co samples,

in general, exhibited a smaller average grain size than the conventionally sintered sample. Microwave sintered parts

also showed significant property improvements without varying the composition of the components and without the

addition of grain growth inhibitors. The WC/Co part produced by the microwave sintering process exhibited an

unprecedented improvement in abrasion resistance (15–30% better), erosion resistance (22% better) and corrosion

resistance in 15% HNO3 without any noticeable loss in hardness or fracture toughness when compared

to the conventionally sintered materials. These improvements in the properties are believed to be due to the fine

microstructure, uniform cobalt phase distribution and pure Co phase at the grain boundaries in microwave-sintered



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