Simulation of the Electrical Resistance Sintering of Hardmetal Powders
The simulation of the electrical resistance sintering (ERS) of hardmetal powders has been studied. The ERS process can produce a quick consolidation of electrical conductive powders by the simultaneous application of pressure and electrical current. A model of the process has been developed, integrating three actions, namely, thermal, mechanical and electrical, and taking into account the nature of both the powders and the die where powders are placed. The model has been implemented in COMSOL Multiphysics, a finite element commercial program. This paper deals with the model fundamentals and hardmetal particular aspects, such as modelling properties of mixed powders and its thermal behaviour. Other parameters in the model have been tuned to optimally fit the initial experimental data. To check simulation results, measurable parameters have been monitored during experimental tests with WC-6 wt% Co. Once the model was completed and put to work, results are discussed.