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Fabrication of Nanosized Tungsten Carbide Ceramics by Reactive Spark Plasma Sintering

Authors

  • Shi-Kuan Sun,

    1. State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructures, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Shanghai, China
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Yan-Mei Kan,

    Corresponding author
    • State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructures, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Shanghai, China
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  • Guo-Jun Zhang

    Corresponding author
    • State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructures, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Shanghai, China
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  • This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 50872141 and 50972152) and the Key Project for Fundamental Research of Shanghai (No. 09JC1415400).

Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mails: yanmeikan@mail.sic.ac.cn and gjzhang@mail.sic.ac.cn

Abstract

Binderless tungsten carbide ceramics were produced by reactive spark plasma sintering, using tungsten nitride and carbon black as starting materials. The phase and microstructure evolution during the sintering process was investigated. It was found that the tungsten nitride decomposed into nano tungsten with a particle size of about 25 nm firstly, and then reacted with carbon black to form carbides. Due to the high activity of the in situ formed carbides, samples could be densified at a temperature as low as 1350°C. The bulk carbides possessed an average grain size of 270 nm and Vickers’ hardness of 25.4 GPa.

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