The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS, based in Dresden, Germany, will showcase results of new developments for hard materials and ceramic injection moulding on its stand at the EuroPM2012 exhibition, Basel, from September 16 to 19.
A key development is an optimized manufacturing process for binderless hardmetals which can attain a hardness of 3000HV. The material is made by pressurized sintering and is said to be well suited for applications with extra high wear load such as water jet nozzles, stamps for direct shaping of glass lenses or for wear protection in general.
Fraunhofer IKTS reports that the binderless hardmetal is also an excellent substrate for the deposition of diamond layers by chemical vapour deposition (CVD).
New CVD hard coatings for hardmetals
Researchers at Fraunhofer IKTS have additionally succeeded in the development of a new and powerful novel hard coating based on aluminum-rich Ti1-xAlxN coating for hardmetal tools using CVD.
The new coating, to be presented on the Fraunhofer IKTS booth, is characterized by high aluminum/titanium ratios between 4:1 and 9:1, a high hardness of 30 GPa as well as an excellent oxidation resistance up to 900°C. Particularly in the case of milling steel or cast iron tool life increases up to 200 % have been achieved with this Ti1-xAlxN layer compared to state-of-the-art coatings.
Fraunhofer IKTS has a long tradition in the development of extremely fine grained hardmetals. Within the BMBF-Project “nanoHM” completed at the end of 2011, hardmetals with nanoscaled microstructure and outstanding mechanical properties were developed and tested successfully in the automotive industry. Fraunhofer IKTS will exhibit some of the components produced from these hardmetals at the EuroPM 2012.
It will also show a new class of ultrafine and nanoscaled hardmetals characterized by high hardness and fracture toughness. Unfortunately, the fracture toughness is relatively even for higher binder amounts. By replacing the monocrystalline tungsten carbide grains by polycrystalline grains made of nanoscaled crystallites this disadvantage can be overcome.
Cermets and compound materials
The Hardmetals & Cermets group of Fraunhofer IKTS has also been engaged in the development of WC-free cermets based on titanium carbide or carbonitride and compound materials for a number of years. At Euro PM2012 the research centre will show discs with partial and full substitution of WC.
Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]