Reaction sintering of HfC/W cermets with high strength and toughness

Shi-Kuan Sun, Guo-Jun Zhang, Ji-Xuan Liu, Ji Zou, De Wei Ni

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Hafnium carbide/tungsten (HfC/W) cermets were prepared by an in situ reaction sintering process, using hafnium oxide (HfO2) and tungsten carbide (WC) as the raw materials. The reaction path, densification behavior, microstructure development, and mechanical properties of the cermets were comprehensively investigated. It was found that WC decomposed to tungsten semicarbide (W2C) and tungsten (W) in sequence, and meanwhile HfC was formed by carbothermal reduction between HfO2 and as-released carbon from the dissociation of WC. The solid solution formation between HfC and W during sintering was also studied. The obtained cermets (>98% TD) have a Vickers' hardness of 8.16 GPa, a fracture toughness of 14.45 MPa m 1/2, and a high flexural strength of 1211 MPa. © 2012 The American Ceramic Society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)867-872
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cermets
  • Hafnium oxides
  • Mechanical properties
  • Tungsten
  • Tungsten carbide
  • Sintering

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