New metal-ceramic materials with high tolerance to extreme stress

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The Structural Integrity and Materials Reliability Centre (CIEFMA UPC) and the company Sandvik Hyperion have successfully developed a project on microstructural optimisation of cemented carbides, to improve the performance and reliability of these materials for use in tools.

Initially, the mechanical integrity of these compound materials (which in industrial practice are known as hard metals, carbides or widia) was studied systematically under extreme stress: fatigue, corrosion and thermal shock. Based on the conclusions, critical parameters were identified and validated through microstructure-performance correlations for the development of new metal-ceramic compounds. Parameters included the relative content, the chemical nature, the interconnectivity and the size/shape/distribution of the constituent phases. As a result, Sandvik Hyperion and CIEFMA UPC will work together for four more years to improve the micromechanical design of new metal-ceramic compounds, using as a basis the previous study and an understanding of the mechanical response at various scales: nano, micro and macro.


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