Rare Metals

pp 1–7 | Cite as

Microstructure and properties of coarse-grained WC–10Co cemented carbides with different carbon contents during heat treatments

  • Yuan-Feng Xie
  • Xing-Cheng XieEmail author
  • Zhong-Wu Li
  • Rui-Jun Cao
  • Zhong-Kun Lin
  • Qing Li
  • Chen-Guang Lin


The effects of cryogenic treatment (CT) and tempering-cryogenic treatment (TCT) on the microstructure and properties of coarse-grained WC–10Co cemented carbides with different carbon contents were researched. The binder phase, WC mean grain sizes, W solubility in the binder, relative magnetic saturation, densities, hardness, wear resistance and second phase precipitation of cemented carbides with different heat treatments were discussed. The results show that there are significant changes of microstructure and properties in the samples with CT and TCT, especially due to the precipitation of metastable nanoparticles \({\text{W}}_{x} {\text{Co}}_{y} {\text{C}}_{z}\) in the binder during the heat treatments of CT and TCT. With the simultaneous combination of microstructure and nanoparticle-reinforced binder, a dramatically improved combination of hardness and wear resistance of the samples after TCT has been achieved.


Cryogenic treatment Tempering Coarse-grained cemented carbide Carbon content Nanoparticle-reinforced binder 



This work was financially supported by the General Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals Youth Science Foundation (No. 52147).


  1. [1]
    Beste U, Jacobson S. A new view of the deterioration and wear of WC/Co cemented carbide rock drill buttons. Wear. 2008;264(11–12):1129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Beste U, Jacobson S, Hogmark S. Rock penetration into cemented carbide drill buttons during rock drilling. Wear. 2008;264(11–12):1142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Konyashin I, Straumal BB, Ries B, Bulatov MF, Kolesnikova KI. Contact angles of WC/WC grain boundaries with binder in cemented carbides with various carbon content. Mater Lett. 2017;196:1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Cao RJ, Lin CG, Xie XC, Lin ZK. Microstructure and mechanical properties of WC–Co-based cemented carbide with bimodal WC grain size distribution. Rare Met. 2018. Scholar
  5. [5]
    Zhang WB, Liu XZ, Chen ZH. Latest development of WC–Co cemented carbide. Chin J Rare Met. 2015;39(2):178.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Bose A. A perspective on the earliest commercial PM metal-ceramic composite: cemented tungsten carbide. Int J Powder Metall. 2011;47(2):31.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Ishida M, Hayashi K. Properties of WC–17 mass% Co cemented carbides with extremely low carbon contents. J Jpn Soc Powder Metall. 1995;42(4):427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Suzuki H, Tanase T, Nakayama F. Strength decrease in WC–Co low carbon cemented carbide due to precipitation treatment. J Jpn Soc Powder Metall. 1976;23(5):163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Cheng X, Zhang L. Effects of heat treatment on the mechanical properties of coarse-grained cemented carbide. Rare Met Cem Carbides. 2012;40(2):45.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Celik ON, Sert A, Gasan H, Ulutan M. Effect of cryogenic treatment on the microstructure and the wear behavior of WC–Co end mills for machining of Ti6Al4V titanium alloy. Int J Adv Manuf Technol. 2018;95(5–8):2989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Thakur DG, Ramamoorthy B, Vijayaraghavan L. Effect of posttreatments on the performance of tungsten carbide (K20) tool while machining (turning) of Inconel 718. Int J Adv Manuf Technol. 2015;76(1–4):587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Xie CH, Huang JW, Tang YF, Gu LN. Effects of deep cryogenic treatment on microstructure and properties of WC–11Co cemented carbides with various carbon contents. Trans Nonferrous Met Soc China. 2015;25(9):3023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Kalsi NS, Sehgal R, Sharma VS. Comparative study to analyze the effect of tempering during cryogenic treatment of tungsten carbide tools in turning. Adv Mater Res. 2012;410:267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Zhang HJ, Chen LQ, Sun J, Wang WG, Wang QZ. Influence of deep cryogenic treatment on microstructures and mechanical properties of an ultrafine-grained WC–12Co cemented carbide. Acta Metall Sin (Engl Lett). 2014;27(5):894.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Stewart HA. Cryogenic treatment of tungsten carbide reduces tool wear when machining medium density fiberboard. For Prod J. 2004;54(2):53.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Steward H. A look at cryogenic treatment of tool metals. FDM ABI/INFORM Glob. 2008;80(1):64.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Gallagher AH, Agosti CD, Roth JT. Effect of cryogenic treatments on tungsten carbide tool life: microstructural analysis. Trans North Am Manuf Res Inst SME. 2005;33:153.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Padmakumar M, Dinakaran D, Guruprasath J. Characterization of cryogenically treated cemented carbide. Integr Ferroelectr. 2017;185(1):65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    Konyashin I, Lachmann F, Ries B, Mazilkin AA, Straumal BB, Kübel C, Llanes L, Baretzky B. Strengthening zones in the Co matrix of WC–Co cemented carbides. Scr Mater. 2014;83:17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    Konyashin I, Ries B, Lachmann F, Mazilkin AA, Straumal BB. Novel hardmetal with nano-strengthened binder. Inorg Mater. 2011;2(1):19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    Konyashin I, Ries B, Lachmann F, Cooper R, Mazilkin A, Straumal B, Aretz A, Babaev V. Hardmetals with nanograin reinforced binder: binder fine structure and hardness. Int J Refract Met Hard Mater. 2008;26(6):583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    Konyashin I, Ries B, Hlawatschek S, Mazilkin A. Novel industrial hardmetals for mining, construction and wear applications. Int J Refract Met Hard Mater. 2018;71:357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    Kalsi NS, Sehgal R, Sharma VS. Effect of tempering after cryogenic treatment of tungsten carbide-cobalt bounded inserts. Bull Mater Sci. 2014;37(2):327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. [24]
    Yang HS, Wang J, Shen BL, Liu HH. Effect of cryogenic treatment on the matrix structure and abrasion resistance of white cast iron subjected to destabilization treatment. Wear. 2006;261(10):1150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. [25]
    Li ZW, Lin CG, Xie XC, Cao RJ, Lin ZK. Selective electrolytic corrosion behaviours of WC in WC–Co cemented carbide. Mater Sci Forum. 2017;898:1478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. [26]
    Liu SR, Liu Y. β → α Transformation of γ-phase in sintered WC–Co cemented carbides. J Mater Sci Technol. 1996;12(5):398.Google Scholar
  27. [27]
    Xie XC, Li ZW, Cao RJ, Lin ZK. Effects of heat treatments on the properties of coarse-grained WC–10Co cemented carbides with low carbon content. In: Sanya: Proceedings of the 14th Sino-Russia Symposium on Advanced Materials and Technologies; 2017. 93.Google Scholar
  28. [28]
    Gill SS, Singh J, Singh H, Singh R. Metallurgical and mechanical characteristics of cryogenically treated tungsten carbide (WC–Co). Int J Adv Manuf Technol. 2012;58(1–4):119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. [29]
    Chivavibul P, Watanabe M, Kuroda S, Shinoda K. Effects of carbide size and Co content on the microstructure and mechanical properties of HVOF-sprayed WC–Co coatings. Surf Coat Technol. 2007;202(3):509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. [30]
    Borgh I, Hedström P, Borgenstam A, Ågren J, Odqvist J. Effect of carbon activity and powder particle size on WC grain coarsening during sintering of cemented carbides. Int J Refract Met Hard Mater. 2014;42:30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. [31]
    Konyashin I, Hlawatschek S, Ries B, Lachmann F, Dorn F, Sologubenko A, Weirich T. On the mechanism of WC coarsening in WC–Co hardmetals with various carbon contents. Int J Refract Met Hard Mater. 2009;27(2):234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. [32]
    Pande CS, Cooper KP. Nanomechanics of Hall–Petch relationship in nanocrystalline materials. Prog Mater Sci. 2009;54(6):689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. [33]
    Cao RJ, Lin CG, Ma XD, Xie XC, Lin ZK. Effect of cobalt content on wear behavior of coarse-grained hardmetals. Mater Sci Eng Powder Metall. 2015;20(6):860.Google Scholar
  34. [34]
    Sun BQ, Wu GL, Zhou JH. η Phase in WC–Co alloy and its effect on property of the alloy. Cem Carbide. 1999;2:92.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Nonferrous Metals Society of China and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Powder Metallurgy and Special Materials Research DepartmentGeneral Research Institute for Nonferrous MetalsBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations