Pulsed electric current sintering of tungsten composites

Research output: ThesisMaster's thesis


  • Minwei Wang

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This work investigates the processing of secondary phase strengthened tungsten composite materials for fusion reactor application. The goal is to explore the suitability of different secondary phases to strengthen tungsten and study their influence on the mechanical and physical properties of the processed tungsten-based composite materials. Yttrium oxide and titanium carbide are selected as candidate additives based on a thorough literature research. In order to disperse TiC or Y2O3 in the tungsten matrix, multidirectional mixing is used for both W/TiC and W/Y2O3 composites while the additive content is varied from 5 to 16 vol%. High energy bead milling and chemical coating are also used on W/5vol%Y2O3 composite materials in order to improve the dispersion of the oxide additive. All the composites are consolidated by pulsed electric current sintering (PECS) in the 1500-1700˚C temperature range, under a pressure of 106MPa. The processing of monolithic tungsten is also studied as a reference material. SEM, XRD, Vickers hardness test and 3 point bending test are conducted to characterize the microstructure, phase composite and mechanical properties of the processed materials.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Vleugels, Jozef, Supervisor, External person
  • Vanmeensel, Kim, Supervisor, External person
  • Uytdenhouwen, Inge, SCK CEN Mentor
Place of PublicationLeuven, Belgium
  • KUL - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • tungsten, microstructure, mechanical properties

ID: 282403