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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 832308, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of Liquid Phase Additions on Microstructure and Thermal Properties in Copper and Copper-Diamond Composites

1Applied Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 168022, USA
2Momentive Performance Materials, 22557 Lunn Road, Strongsville, OH 44149, USA
3Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Received 28 September 2014; Accepted 15 November 2014; Published 3 December 2014

Academic Editor: Bin Li

Copyright © 2014 A. Rape et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study details a new approach to creating copper-diamond composite materials for thermal management applications by using a two-phase (solid-liquid) approach in powder metallurgy using Field Assisted Sintering Technology (FAST). Silver-copper alloyed powder at eutectic compositions was used as a nonreactive liquid phase while Cu5Si was used as a reactive liquid phase. Microstructure results are reported favorably comparing the additions of a small amount of liquid phase to pure solid state sintering. Additionally, EDX results indicate that the liquid phase material fills gaps at the interface of the matrix and diamond particle resulting in improved microstructure and density. Thermal conductivity results show that liquid phase additions improve the thermal conductivity of composites compared to composites without any liquid phase, but Si additions cause a severe drop in baseline conductivity.