Abdolali Fayyaz, Norhamidi Muhamad and Abu Bakar Sulong
This research was focused on mixing of submicron cemented carbide (WC-Co-VC) powder and binder. WC-Co-VC powder particle size and morphology were analyzed by laser diffraction and field emission scanning electron microscopy. The WC-Co-VC powder was kneaded with a paraffin wax based binder system. Based on critical solid loading, the feedstock with different solid loadings between 49 to 51 vol.% was prepared. Finally, the flow behavior of different feedstocks was investigated. Morphology of powder revealed that the particles of powder are slightly agglomerated and irregular in shape. The result of mixing indicted that the torque value increases as the solid loading increase from 49 vol.% to 51 vol.%. The feedstock exhibited homogeneity and the powder particles are homogenously coated with binder. The feedstock with solid loading of 51 vol.% is sensitive to temperature and showed high viscosity values. The feedstock with solid loadings of 49 and 50 vol.% had good compatibility and flow characteristics.
In situ characterization of the sintering process is a difficult task, in particular for systems without pronounced dimensional changes. Dilatometry is not too helpful in those cases, and therefore other properties have to be recorded. In the present study, sintering of ferrous powder compacts was studied in situ by measuring the thermal diffusivity a using a laser flash apparatus. This property is a measure to characterise the heat flow through a material; it depends on the contact area between the particles and thus reveals their change during sintering. It is shown that the change of a during sintering of ferrous compacts is much less pronounced than in the case of cemented carbides which is not surprising when regarding the widely differing porosity changes. The results are however in good agreement with expectations when considering some experimental limitations. The trend for the thermal conductivity λ. which can be calculated from a, the specific heat and the density, is in good agreement with that found for the electrical conductivity, both properties being linked through Wiedemann-Franz’ law.