Microscopic studies of wolfram carbide after fracturing
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In this report a study of the microscopic properties of a fractured sintered wolfram carbide-cobalt penetrator has been carried out. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy are used to study the fracture mechanics of the WC-Co hardmetal during different loading conditions. We found that the crack path is mainly intergranular along the WC-Co boundaries both under static and dynamic loadings. Crack paths across the WC phase, namely transgranular, were seen clearly in a few cases for cracks emanating from indentations made with a Vickers hardness tester. Also the analyses highlights some defects that can be present when processing conditions have been suboptimal.