Cemented carbides and cermets
The losses resulting from wear in life cycle cost of equipment may be tremendous. In some industries recycling of wear parts and consumables may compose up to 40% of life cycle costs. Decreasing of these costs is possible using wear resistant composites – cemented carbides and cermets. These materials are ceramic-metal composites produced using powder metallurgy (PM) technology – compaction of green compacts followed by hot consolidation (sintering).
Cermets are composite materials composed of hard ceramic (prevalently carbides or carbonitrides) and metal (usually Co, Ni, Fe) materials. Cemented carbides (hardmetals) are ceramic-metal composite materials on basis of tungsten carbide (WC).
Cemented carbides with cobalt binder WC-Co have been attained the most attention. These composites are used for production of machining tools and other wear resistant products with high hardness and strength. Cermets, usually based on titanium carbide (TiC) or titanium carbonitride (TiCxNy) are used instead of cemented carbides in specific application fields due to their superior wear and corrosion properties.
Opportunities of the PM laboratory
Products and prototypes from cemented carbides and cermets for companies are produced using technological opportunities of the PM laboratory of Tallinn University of Technology:
- equipment for comminution and mixing of starting powders (ball mills, attritors etc.)
- presses for powder compaction;
- equipment for hot consolidation: vacuum and sinter/HIP furnaces, equipment for hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and spark plasma sintering (SPS).
- wearing parts of metal forming tools (punches and dies)
- wearing parts of mining equipment (cutters)
- wearing parts of disintegrators and other milling equipment
- studs of automobile tyres etc.