Work group Hardmetal and MMC
The working group Hardmetal and MMC deals with the process simulation of cemented carbides during their production and service life. Material models are developed by IWM using parameters that are determined experimentally. Consolidated by liquid phase sintering, hard metals are exposed to the build-up of high residual stresses between the different phases (WC/Co), while they cool from sintering temperature to ambient temperature. The FE model developed by IWM is capable of predicting the development of internal stresses as well as the final residual stress state in hard metal microstructure.
Another research focus is the investigation of new manufacturing processes for hard metals and their starting materials. Current topics are the high-temperature carburization of tungsten and the additive manufacturing of WC-Co carbide using laser beam melting (LPBF). The sintering of hard metals can be carried out in a vacuum furnace, a Sinter-HIP as well as by field assisted sintering technique. (SPS/FAST).