Metal-boride phase formation on tungsten carbide (WC-Co) during microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Strengthening of cemented tungsten carbide by boriding is used to improve the wear resistance and lifetime of carbide tools; however, many conventional boriding techniques render the bulk carbide too brittle for extreme conditions, such as hard rock drilling. This research explored the variation in metal-boride phase formation during the microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition process at surface temperatures from 700 to 1100 °C. We showed several well-adhered metal-boride surface layers consisting of WCoB, CoB and/or W 2 CoB 2 with average hardness from 23 to 27 GPa and average elastic modulus of 600-730 GPa. The metal-boride interlayer was shown to be an effective diffusion barrier against elemental cobalt; migration of elemental cobalt to the surface of the interlayer was significantly reduced. A combination of glancing angle X-ray diffraction, electron dispersive spectroscopy, nanoindentation and scratch testing was used to evaluate the surface composition and material properties. An evaluation of the material properties shows that plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposited borides formed at substrate temperatures of 800 °C, 850 °C, 900 °C and 1000 °C strengthen the material by increasing the hardness and elastic modulus of cemented tungsten carbide. Additionally, these boride surface layers may offer potential for adhesion of ultra-hard carbon coatings.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Johnston JM; Catledge SA
  • Start Page

  • 315
  • End Page

  • 321
  • Volume

  • 364