Master Thesis: Influence of Sintering Variables on Shape Quality of Cemented Carbide Cutting Tools
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Seco Tools AB is one of the global leaders in the development and manufacturing of tools and tooling systems for metal cutting applications and we’re offering a Master Thesis project within R&D Materials Development and Production Technology.
Background and purpose
The project concentrates on the sintering process, a crucial step in the production cycle of cutting tools where ultimate dimensional accuracy is significantly determined – more specifically, it’s to study in detail the critical aspect of shape stability of sintered bodies in cemented carbide tools.
This opportunity is particularly ideal for students with a strong passion for the metal cutting industry. It provides a platform to deeply engage with various aspects of cutting tool production and their applications. Throughout the project, you have the chance to immerse yourself in the field and gain familiarity with various sides of the production processes. Furthermore, you’re able to interact with and learn from a diverse range of professionals – including design engineers, application engineers, project leaders, product managers, process developers, production experts, measurement specialists, and site technicians. This collaborative environment aims to broaden your perspective and enhance your understanding of the industrial landscape.
Hard metal is a powder of composite material that consists of one or several hard components i.e.Tungsten Carbide as a main component and a metallic binder (Cobalt). The composition and grain size of the powder are carefully designed to match the exceptional toughness, wear resistance, and hot hardness required by the tools to ensure stable and efficient cutting action across various applications. The powder is produced by milling and mixing Cobalt and Tungsten carbide powders with additions of other carbides. The resultant mixture is compacted in press tools followed by sintering at temperature ranges of 1300-1600°C. During the sintering process, a liquid Cobalt-rich phase is formed which accelerates densification and results in a product with close to 100% theoretical density. The Cobalt acts as “cement” between the hard carbide grains, hence the designation “Cemented Carbide”.
The primary objective of the thesis is to investigate whether there exists a systematic correlation between sintering variables, such as powder size, chemical composition, and temperature variations within the furnace, and the consequent shape distortion observed in the sintered body.
The work contains the following major steps:
Literature review of the existing reports and summarizing the key findings.
Selecting suitable powder grades for investigation in collaboration with the Material Development team and Production experts.
Conducting design of experiment and planning a clever sintering methodology in collaboration with production experts to ensure a comprehensive and effective investigation.
Establishing the best-suited measurement technique in collaboration with measurement experts. Conducting a well-structured and extensive sample measurement to build the necessary database for analysis.
Employing Multivariable Data Analysis (MVDA) to interpret the interplay of various variables and deriving meaningful insights.
Utilizing the results to identify the main contributor to shape quality of the inserts.
Who you are
For this project, we’re looking for a highly motivated student with a Masters in Materials Science or similar. Curiosity to learn and handle tasks in a well-planned manner is important. You should be able to independently conduct research and lab work after training. Having a communicative mindset and willingness to learn is critical. You’re expected to write the report and present the thesis in English. Swedish language is a merit.
The location is Fagersta and presence on site is mandatory.
What we offer?
Throughout the thesis work, you have full support from a team of experts with various backgrounds. Accommodation is provided and the thesis is compensated with a one-time payment along with 30 credits HP.
Application and contact information
Please send your application, including CV and cover letter, as soon as possible, and no later than January 24, 2024, as selections are made on an ongoing basis.
The starting date of the thesis is flexible and can be discussed with the student.
For more information, please feel free to contact: