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Advances in Tribology
Volume 2016, Article ID 5063274, 6 pages
Research Article

Influence of Eta-Phase on Wear Behavior of WC-Co Carbides

Department of Chemical, Materials and Production Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy

Received 30 October 2015; Revised 11 December 2015; Accepted 21 December 2015

Academic Editor: Meng Hua

Copyright © 2016 A. Formisano 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.


Cemented carbides, also known as Widia, are hard metals produced by sintering process and widely used in mechanical machining. They show high cutting capacity and good wear resistance; consequently, they result to be excellent materials for manufacturing cutting tools and sandblast nozzles. In this work, the wear resistance of WC-Co carbides containing Eta-phase, a secondary phase present in the hard metals when a carbon content deficiency occurs, is analyzed. Different mixtures of carbide are prepared and sintered, with different weight percentages of carbon, in order to form Eta-phase and then analyze how the carbon content influences the wear resistance of the material. This characterization is carried out by abrasive wear tests. The test parameters are chosen considering the working conditions of sandblast nozzles. Additional information is gathered through microscopic observations and the evaluation of hardness and microhardness of the different mixtures. The analyses highlight that there is a limit of carbon content below which bad sintering occurs. Considering the mixtures without these sintering problems, they show a wear resistance depending on the size and distribution of the Eta-phase; moreover, the one with high carbon content deficiency shows the best performance.