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Diffusion in the liquid Co binder of cemented carbides: Ab initio molecular dynamics and DICTRA simulations
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Materials Science and Engineering.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A fundamental quantum mechanical modelling approach is used for calculating liquid diffusion parameters in cemented carbides. Up to now, no detailed description of diffusion for alloying elements in a liquid Co matrix is available. Neither are experimental measurements found in the literature for the self- or impurity diffusion in the liquid Co system. State of the art application is the description of gradient formation in cemented carbide systems using DICTRA. In this work it is assumed that diffusion during sintering of cemented carbides takes place mainly in the liquid Co binder phase. With this assumption one can calculate the diffusion coefficient for different alloying elements like W, Ti, N and C in a liquid Co matrix phase. The mean square displacement (MSD) of the diffusing atoms is used to obtain the diffusion coefficients which could be simulated by Ab initio Molecular Dynamics (AIMD). By fitting the computed temperature dependence with the Arrhenius relation one can determine the frequency factor and the activation energy which allows to give a quantitative description of the diffusion. Three methods will be used for validating the data from this work. Available estimated literature values based on calculations (scaling laws, a modified Sutherland equation and classical molecular dynamics) will be used to compare the results in a first instance. The general agreement for diffusion in liquid metals will be done by comparison with experimental data for the liquid Fe system. In a last step, the diffusion values obtained by this work will be used to create a kinetic database for DICTRA. The gradient simulations will be compared with experimentally measured gradients. The AIMD simulations are performed for binary diffusion systems to investigate the diffusion between the liquid Co matrix and one type of alloying element. In a second approach the diffusion for a multicomponent systems with Co, W, Ti and C has been performed. The results from the present AIMD simulations could be shown to be in good agreement with the literature. Only two DICTRA simulations could be performed within the timeframe of this work. Both are predicting a ~3 times bigger gradient zone whereas the initial choice of the labyrinth factor λ = f could be identified as a possible source of disagreement. A labyrinth factor of λ = f2 with the calculated mobility values from the AIMD calculations should give improved results. Although the results from those simulations are not available to this date. The two approaches of the diffusion simulations in the binary and multicomponent system are giving matching results. The non-metallic elements C and N are diffusing two times faster than the fastest metallic element Co. The diffusivity of Ti is slightly lower than Co and W could be identified as the element with the slowest diffusion within the liquid Co matrix. Further investigations of the liquid structure could indicate the tendency to form bonds between C and W and between C and Ti. This gives slowed down diffusion of C in the multicomponent system compared to the diffusion in the binary Co-C system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Ab initio, molecular dynamics, AIMD, DICTRA, cemented carbides, hardmetals, diffusion, liquid Co, cobalt, binder phase
National Category
Other Materials Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140880OAI: diva2:693867
Educational program
Master of Science - Materials Science and Engineering
Available from: 2014-02-18 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2014-02-18Bibliographically approved

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