A Study of the Fracture Process of WC-Co Alloys
The important role of the deformation of the cobalt-rich binder phase in the fracture process of sintered WC-Co alloys has been noted in many recently published papers, either by observation of the deformation and rupture of cobalt on the fracture faces of the alloy (1–10) and/or by incorporating the work of plastic deformation of the binder phase into an appropriate fracture theory (1–4, 6, 8, 11). In general, the dominant contribution of the cobalt to the fracture resistance of these alloys is made obvious a priori by considering that 1) the values reported for the fracture energy of sintered WC-Co alloys (102–103 Jm−2) are evidence of considerable plastic work during fracture when compared to the typical cleavage energies of tungsten carbide and other brittle materials (10−1–101 Jm−2), and 2) the primary variable controlling the fracture toughness is the thickness of the binder phase layers, as shown by many investigators (1, 4, 6–9, 11, 12).
KeywordsCobalt Content Binder Phase High Cobalt Cobalt Layer High Cobalt Content
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