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Characterization investigations during mechanical alloying and sintering of W-20 vol% SiC composites
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The effect of mechanical alloying and the sintering regime on the microstructural and the physical properties of W-SiC composites were investigated. Powder mixtures of W-20 vol.% SiC were mechanically alloyed (MA'd) using a Spex mill for 3 h, 6 h and 24 h. MA'd powders were characterized by Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer, SEM and XRD investigations. MA'd W-20 vol.% SiC powder composites were sintered under inert Ar and reducing H2 gas conditions at 1680 °C and 1770 °C for 1 h. The microstructural and mechanical characterizations of the sintered samples were carried out by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Vickers Hardness analyses. The addition of SiC remarkably increases the hardness of the composites. Hardness is also increased with decreasing grain size and increasing amount of MA. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.