The microstructure and mechanical properties of Fe–Cu materials fabricated by pressure-less-shaping of nanocrystalline powders
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The microstructure of Fe-40%wtCu nanocrystalline powders, prepared by mechanical alloying, was studied before and after the consolidation process. Pressure-less-shaping (PS) was used to consolidate the powders. The PS technique, similar to metal injection moulding (MIM), does not require external pressure in order to fill up the mould. The key factor of the process of consolidation is the use as binder a hybrid inorganic–organic monomer, formed by the reaction of zirconium propoxide and 2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate. This type of monomer, mixed with the metallic powders, formed slurry having low viscosity, which was easily poured into mould. The binder stiffened upon polymerization. Some pieces were produced through debinding and sintering, both performed under inert atmosphere in order to avoid metal oxidation. Different microstructure and density were observed depending on the maximum sintering temperatures, ranging from 904 to 1,120 °C. In the sample sintered at 1,120 °C, the crystalline domains of the copper phase were of about 40 nm.
KeywordsSelect Area Electron Diffraction Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis HEMA Thermal Gravimetric Analysis Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis
Mr. Victor Micheli is greatly acknowledged for the hardness measurements.
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