skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Suppressing η-phase development in steel-cemented tungsten carbide: A spark plasma sintering study

Abstract

We describe the phase stability of a cemented tungsten carbide prepared using a high-vanadium tool steel as the cementing/binder phase and confirm suppression of (Fe, W) 6C η-phase formation, attributed to the preferential formation of a V 0.78W 0.22C 1-x phase that exists as islands within the Fe-rich binder matrix. The samples were prepared using spark plasma sintering (SPS), starting from commercially available WC and A11-LVC tool steel powders. The starting powders were ball milled adding 10, 15, and 20 vol.% steel. An A11-LVC tool steel was chosen as a low-cost hard steel (49 HRC) that does not contain Ni or Co but has a high vanadium (~9 wt.%) and carbon (~1.75 wt.%) content. Our results show that sintering by SPS can produce high-density (>98%) WC-steel specimens in which the matrix wets the WC grain surfaces and formation of the brittle η-phase is avoided. The η phase is often regarded as embrittling and undesirable, and its presence can result in degradation of mechanical properties. Microhardness values for the WC-10 and WC-15 vol.% steel samples were 12.3 ± 1.2 and 13.0 ± 0.9 GPa, respectively, whereas the fracture toughness values were 8.83 ± 0.48 and 8.81 ± 0.61 MPa·m 1/2, respectively.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [2]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Alfred Univ., NY (United States). Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering
  2. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  3. Advanced Materials and Devices, Inc., Reno, NV (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1488769
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-751653
Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7820; 937352
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the American Ceramic Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 102; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7820
Publisher:
American Ceramic Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Tungsten/tungsten compounds; carbides; spark plasma sintering

Citation Formats

Cahill, James T., Kelly, James P., Novitskaya, Ekaterina, McKee, Michael, Bahena, Joel A., and Graeve, Olivia A. Suppressing η-phase development in steel-cemented tungsten carbide: A spark plasma sintering study. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1111/jace.15814.
Cahill, James T., Kelly, James P., Novitskaya, Ekaterina, McKee, Michael, Bahena, Joel A., & Graeve, Olivia A. Suppressing η-phase development in steel-cemented tungsten carbide: A spark plasma sintering study. United States. doi:10.1111/jace.15814.
Cahill, James T., Kelly, James P., Novitskaya, Ekaterina, McKee, Michael, Bahena, Joel A., and Graeve, Olivia A. Thu . "Suppressing η-phase development in steel-cemented tungsten carbide: A spark plasma sintering study". United States. doi:10.1111/jace.15814. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1488769.
@article{osti_1488769,
title = {Suppressing η-phase development in steel-cemented tungsten carbide: A spark plasma sintering study},
author = {Cahill, James T. and Kelly, James P. and Novitskaya, Ekaterina and McKee, Michael and Bahena, Joel A. and Graeve, Olivia A.},
abstractNote = {We describe the phase stability of a cemented tungsten carbide prepared using a high-vanadium tool steel as the cementing/binder phase and confirm suppression of (Fe, W)6C η-phase formation, attributed to the preferential formation of a V0.78W0.22C1-x phase that exists as islands within the Fe-rich binder matrix. The samples were prepared using spark plasma sintering (SPS), starting from commercially available WC and A11-LVC tool steel powders. The starting powders were ball milled adding 10, 15, and 20 vol.% steel. An A11-LVC tool steel was chosen as a low-cost hard steel (49 HRC) that does not contain Ni or Co but has a high vanadium (~9 wt.%) and carbon (~1.75 wt.%) content. Our results show that sintering by SPS can produce high-density (>98%) WC-steel specimens in which the matrix wets the WC grain surfaces and formation of the brittle η-phase is avoided. The η phase is often regarded as embrittling and undesirable, and its presence can result in degradation of mechanical properties. Microhardness values for the WC-10 and WC-15 vol.% steel samples were 12.3 ± 1.2 and 13.0 ± 0.9 GPa, respectively, whereas the fracture toughness values were 8.83 ± 0.48 and 8.81 ± 0.61 MPa·m1/2, respectively.},
doi = {10.1111/jace.15814},
journal = {Journal of the American Ceramic Society},
number = 2,
volume = 102,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Effect of Current on Diffusivity in Metal Hexaborides: A Spark Plasma Sintering Study
journal, October 2017

  • Cahill, James T.; Vasquez, Victor R.; Misture, Scott T.
  • ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Vol. 9, Issue 42
  • DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b04563

Influence of VC on the microstructure and mechanical properties of WC–Co sintered cemented carbides
journal, May 1999

  • Arenas, F.; de Arenas, I. B.; Ochoa, J.
  • International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, Vol. 17, Issue 1-3
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0263-4368(98)00061-4

Interactions between tungsten carbide (WC) particulates and metal matrix in WC-reinforced composites
journal, January 2003


High-performance bulk thermoelectrics with all-scale hierarchical architectures
journal, September 2012

  • Biswas, Kanishka; He, Jiaqing; Blum, Ivan D.
  • Nature, Vol. 489, Issue 7416, p. 414-418
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature11439

Shock Wave Response of Iron-based In Situ Metallic Glass Matrix Composites
journal, March 2016

  • Khanolkar, Gauri R.; Rauls, Michael B.; Kelly, James P.
  • Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/srep22568

Synthesis and Consolidation of BaAl 2 Si 2 O 8 :Eu: Development of an Integrated Process for Luminescent Smart Ceramic Materials
journal, November 2009


Control of eta carbide formation in tungsten carbide powders sputter-coated with (Fe/Ni/Cr)
journal, July 2007

  • Fernandes, C. M.; Senos, A. M. R.; Vieira, M. T.
  • International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, Vol. 25, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2006.07.004

Phase Stability of Mixed-Cation Alkaline-Earth Hexaborides
journal, April 2017

  • Cahill, James T.; Alberga, Michael; Bahena, Joel
  • Crystal Growth & Design, Vol. 17, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00391

The study of ternary carbides formation during SPS consolidation process in the WC–Co–steel system
journal, September 2009

  • Machado, Izabel Fernanda; Girardini, Luca; Lonardelli, Ivan
  • International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, Vol. 27, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2009.05.001

On the composition of Fe-Ni-Co-WC-based cemented carbides
journal, January 1997

  • Uhrenius, Björn; Pastor, Henri; Pauty, Emmanuel
  • International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, Vol. 15, Issue 1-3
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0263-4368(96)00023-6

Spark Plasma Sintering of Alumina
journal, August 2002


Cemented carbide phase diagrams: A review
journal, July 2011

  • Fernandes, C. M.; Senos, A. M. R.
  • International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, Vol. 29, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2011.02.004

Spark plasma sintering of Fe-based structural amorphous metals (SAM) with Y2O3 nanoparticle additions
journal, June 2008


Spark Plasma Sintering as an Approach to Manufacture Bulk Materials: Feasibility and Cost Savings
journal, November 2014


VC, Cr3C2 doped ultrafine WC–Co cemented carbides prepared by spark plasma sintering
journal, March 2011

  • Sun, Lan; Yang, Tian'en; Jia, Chengchang
  • International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, Vol. 29, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmhm.2010.09.004

Designing in situ and ex situ bulk metallic glass composites via spark plasma sintering in the super cooled liquid state
journal, March 2016


Sintering characteristics and properties of WC-10AISI304 (stainless steel) hardmetals with added graphite
journal, May 2014

  • Trung, Tran Bao; Zuhailawati, Hussain; Ahmad, Zainal Arifin
  • Materials Science and Engineering: A, Vol. 605
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2014.03.053

Phase relations, microstructure and mechanical properties of VC substituted WC-10Co cemented carbide alloys
journal, January 1997

  • Cho, Seung-Am; Hernandez, Argenis; Ochoa, Javier
  • International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, Vol. 15, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0263-4368(97)00005-X

Physical and chemical nature of cemented carbides
journal, January 1979


Sintering, consolidation, reaction and crystal growth by the spark plasma system (SPS)
journal, August 2000