Microstructural development and mechanical properties of iron based cermets processed by pressureless and spark plasma sintering Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2012

start page

  • 28

end page

  • 34


  • 538

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0921-5093

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-4936


  • Iron-based cermets are an interesting class of metal-ceramic composites in which properties and the factors influencing them are to be explored. In this work the metal matrix contains Cr, W, Mo and V as alloying elements, and the hard phase is constituted by 50 vol% of titanium carbonitride (TiCN) particles. The work studies the influence of the C content and the processing method on the sinterability, microstructure and hardness of the developed cermet materials. For that purpose, cermet samples with different C content in the matrix (0 wt%, 0.25 wt%, 0.5 wt%, 1.0 wt%) were prepared by conventional pressureless sintering (CPS) and, in order to achieve finer microstructures and to reduce the sintering time, by spark plasma sintering (SPS). The density and hardness (HV30) of the processed materials was evaluated, while their phase composition and microstructure was characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respectively. The equilibrium phase diagram of the composite material was calculated by ThermoCalc software in order to elucidate the influence of the carbon content on the obtained phases and developed microstructures.


  • Chemistry
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Materials science and engineering


  • composites; ferrous alloys; phase transformation; powder metallurgy; sintering