Development of WC-ZrO2 Nanocomposites by Spark Plasma Sintering

Bikramjit Basu, Jong Heun Lee, Doh Yeon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


In the present work, we report the processing of ultrahard tungsten carbide (WC) nanocomposites with 6 wt% zirconia additions. The densification is conducted by the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique in a vacuum. Fully dense materials are obtained after SPS at 1300°C for 5 min. The sinterability and mechanical properties of the WC-6 wt% ZrO2 materials are compared with the conventional WC-6 wt% Co materials. Because of the high heating rate, lower sintering temperature, and short holding time involved in SPS, extremely fine zirconia particles (∼100 nm) and submicrometer WC grains are retained in the WC-ZrO2 nanostructured composites. Independent of the processing route (SPS or pressureless sintering in a vacuum), superior hardness (21-24 GPa) is obtained with the newly developed WC-ZrO2 materials compared with that of the WC-Co materials (15-17 GPa). This extremely high hardness of the novel WC-ZrO 2 composites is expected to lead to significantly higher abrasive-wear resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-319
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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