Masters Theses


Paul M. Brune

Keywords and Phrases

Copper; Metal matrix composites; Sessile drop; Spontaneous infiltration; Tungsten carbide; Wear resistance


"This research focuses on the processing and properties of tungsten carbide-based (WC-based) Cu-Ni-Mn-Zn metal matrix composites (MMCs) fabricated by pressureless infiltration. The first goal of this project was to test the wettability of Cu-Ni-Mn and Cu-Ni-Mn-Zn on various carbides. The sessile drop technique was employed to determine if they were suitable candidates for pressureless infiltration. The carbides investigated were TaC, WC, B4C, and SiC. It was determined that both alloys had contact angles of less than 70⁰ on TaC, WC, and B4C, which is one requirement for pressureless infiltration. However, both alloys reacted with B4C to produce graphite at the metal-ceramic interface. Since graphite is not wet by either alloy, the presence of graphite disqualified B4C as a candidate for pressureless infiltration. The second goal of the project was to establish a baseline for the hardness, transverse rupture strength (TRS), fracture toughness, and wear resistance of WC/Cu-Ni-Mn-Zn MMCs and examine the effect of substituting 10 vol. % of WC for VC, cBN, and TaC on the microstructure and mechanical properties. The baseline hardness, TRS, fracture toughness, and wear resistance were measured to be 3.3 ± 0.2 GPa, 838 ± 61 MPa, 20.7 ± 0.4 MPa·m1/2, and 20.8 ± 4.6 mm3, respectfully. The substitution of VC and cBN increased the porosity of the microstructure while decreasing hardness and TRS. The substitution of TaC also increased the porosity, but to a lesser extent as well as having little effect on the hardness resulting in a higher TRS with the TaC10 composition measuring 1000 ± 47 MPa. The substitution of VC and TaC increased the fracture toughness with the TaC3 composition measuring highest at 26.5 ± 0.3 MPa·m1/2. However, both the VC and the TaC10 compositions had a higher volume loss than the baseline in wear testing"--Abstract, page iv.


Hilmas, Greg

Committee Member(s)

Watts, Jeremy Lee, 1980-
O'Malley, Ronald J.


Materials Science and Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Ceramic Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2017

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • The wetting of TaC, B4C, WC, and SiC by Cu-Ni-Mn and Cu-Ni-Mn-Zn alloys
  • The processing and properties of WC-based/Cu-Ni-Mn-Zn metal matrix composites


xi, 72 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2017 Paul Michael Brune, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11473

Electronic OCLC #