Ion-Etching Techniques for Microstructural Characterization of Cemented Carbides and Ceramics
Prior attempts to delineate the grain boundaries of the binder phase (γ phase) in cemented carbides using thermal and chemical etching methods1, have not been very successful. These methods, though simple and convenient, often do not produce adequate contrast for detailed microscopic observation and analysis. Other etching methods such as, ion sputter etching or simply ion-etching, are of a more recent origin. They are principally used in the preparation of thin electron-transparent foils from materials where conventional methods of specimen preparation are not applicable. In this report, the feasibility of applying ion-etching methods for microstructural characterization of cemented carbides and ceramics is examined. Ion-etching is found to give improved contrast between binder phase grains in cemented carbides as well as reveal macroscopic heterogenieties in certain ceramics.
KeywordsTungsten Carbide Cement Carbide Binder Phase Magnesium Silicate Carbide Content
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- 2.B. Roebuck and E. A. Almond, “Microstructural Events Preceding Fracture in Compression in Hard Metals”, Recent Advances in Hard Metal Production, Loughborough University, 1979.Google Scholar