Sintering of Hardmetals
This article discusses two major sintering methods: pressureless and pressure-assisted sintering. Pressureless sintering techniques include vacuum and partial-pressure, hydrogen, and microwave sintering. Pressure-assisted consolidation techniques include overpressure sintering, sintering followed by postsinter hot isostatic pressing, hot pressing, and several rapid hot consolidation techniques. The article describes nitrogen sintering and the sintering of cermets. It reviews the furnaces used for sintering and presents the lubrication removal techniques. The article also outlines the need to control carbon and oxygen to obtain optimal properties and explains microstructure development and grain size control.