Microstructural development and evolution in liquid-phase sintered Fe-Cu alloys

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An experimental study relating the scale and contiguity of liquid-phase sintered Fe-Cu alloys to sintering conditions has been conducted over a broad range of solid-phase volume fraction. It is found that the solid-phase contiguity attains a steady-state value at fairly short sintering times and that contiguity increases with increasing particle volume fraction, but is essentially independent of sintering temperature. Both the continuity and scale of microstructure are discussed in terms of concurrent particle coalescence and Ostwald ripening. It is found that values of the probability of particle coalescence after contact required to explain the contiguities observed are in reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions. However, comparison of observed contiguities with those predicted by recent studies is found to be unsatisfactory since the latter do not predict the steady-state contiguities observed. On the other hand, microstructural observations and measurements of coarsening-rate constants as a function of particle volume fraction indicate clearly that particle coalescence contributes significantly to the coarsening process at higher particle volume fractions. © 1981 Chapman and Hall Ltd.

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Journal of Materials Science