New graphite tools were designed and produced to fabricate a semi-finished product from which nine cutting inserts were obtained in one spark plasma sintering process. As a result, WC-5Co cemented carbides were spark plasma sintered and the effect of various sintering parameters such as compacting pressure, heating rate and holding time on the main mechanical properties were investigated. It was shown that WC-5Co cemented carbides spark plasma sintered at 1200°C, 80 MPa, 400°C/min, for 5 min are characterized by the best relation of hardness (1861 ±10 HV30) and fracture toughness (9.30 MPa·m1/2). The microstructure of these materials besides the WC ceramic phase and Co binder phase consists of a synthesized Co3W3C complex phase. Comparison with a commercial WC-6Co cutting insert fabricated by conventional powder metallurgy techniques shows that spark plasma sintering is a very effective technique to produce materials characterized by improved mechanical properties.
Commercially pure titanium is less expensive, generally more corrosion resistant and lower in strength than its alloys, and is not heat-treatable. The use of Ti and its alloys as construction materials under severe friction and wear conditions is limited due to their poor tribological properties. Nevertheless, proper addition of hard ceramic particles into Ti and its alloys has proved to be an efficient way to enhance their mechanical and wear properties. Our purpose in this work was to analyze the corrosion, tribocorrosion, mechanical and morphological effects of combining titanium carbide with titanium metal, to create a unique composite via spark plasma sintering technique (SPS). Composites with different mass percentage (1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 wt %) of ceramic phase were produced. The samples of pure Ti and Ti-6Al-4V alloy were also tested, as a reference. These composites were examined for mechanical properties and corrosion resistance in an environment similar to the human body (Ringer’s solution). Open circuit potential (OPC) and anodic polarization measurements were performed. The properties of titanium composites reinforced with micro- and nanocrystalline TiC powders were compared. It was stated that wear properties were significantly improved with increasing amount of TiC in matrix, especially in the case of nanocrystalline reinforcement. In terms of corrosion resistance, the composites showed slightly worse properties compared to pure titanium and Ti-6Al-4V alloy.