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Microstructures and properties of direct laser sintered tungsten carbide (WC) particle reinforced Cu matrix composites with RE-Si-Fe addition: A comparative study

: Gu, D.; Shen, Y.


Journal of Materials Research 24 (2009), No.11, pp.3397-3406
ISSN: 0884-2914
ISSN: 2044-5326
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ILT ()

The poor wettability between ceramics and metals is a main obstacle in obtaining high-performance metal-matrix composites (MMCs) parts using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). Rare earth (RE) elements, due to their unique physical and chemical properties, have high potential for improving laser processability of MMCs. In this work, a comparative study was performed to investigate the influence of RE-Si-Fe addition on microstructural features and mechanical properties of DMLS processed tungsten carbide (WC) particle reinforced Cu MMCs parts. It showed that by adding 3 wt% RE-Si-Fe, the WC reinforcing particles were refined, the particle dispersion state was homogenized, and the particle/matrix interfacial compatibility was enhanced. The RE-Si-Fe-containing WC/Cu MMCs parts possessed significantly elevated mechanical properties, i.e., densification level of 95.7%, microhardness of 417.6 HV, fracture strength of 201.8 MPa, and friction coefficient of 0.8. The metallurgical functions of the RE-Si-Fe additive for the improvement of DMLS quality of MMCs parts were discussed.