Method for determining phasedistribution and characteristic lenghts in cBN-composite materials.
An image analysis method has been developed for Sandvik to determine phasecompositions and characteristic length of the binding phase in cubic Boron Nitride(cBN)-composites with low contents of cBN (35-75%).The method consists of taking pictures with a Scanning Electron Microscope,gathering elemental data with X-ray Diffraction (XRD) as well as Energy-dispersiveX-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) and finally using a Matlab program developed for this workto calculate phase compositions and statistical data from the characteristic length ofthe binding phase.Using these methods four different phases were identified in the samples: Blackparticles, most likely made of cBN. A dark gray phase around the black particles, thatconsists of Al-compounds. A light grey binding phase, consisting of TiN or Ti(C,N).Finally there were small traces of white particles which were identified as a product ofabrasive action on cermet milling bodies added during the milling.Mean value, standard deviation and median of the characteristic length of the bindingphase was calculated. For all samples the median value was consistent, sometimeseven being identical for the analyzed sites. This indicates that the binding phase wasevenly distributed across almost all samples.
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