Fabrication and properties of extrusion-based 3D-printed hardmetal and cermet components

Walter Lengauer, Ivica Duretek, Markus Fürst, Viktoria Schwarz, Joamin Gonzalez-Gutierrez, Stephan Schuschnigg, Christian Kukla, Michael Kitzmantel, Erich Neubauer, Clemens Lieberwirth, Vincent Morrison

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Hardmetal and cermet bodies were printed by fused-filament fabrication (FFF) and composite-extrusion modelling (CEM) in an SDS (shaping – debinding – sintering) process. For FFF the filaments were prepared from hardmetal (WC-10Co) and cermet powder (Ti(C,N)-Co/Ni-based) and organic binder. The CEM feedstock consisted of WC-Co MIM powder. A 3D filament printer as well as a 3D printer working with a MIM granulate were employed to fabricate printed bodies by FFF and CEM, respectively. The solvent debinding process was performed in cyclohexane (FFF-printed bodies) or water (CEM-printed bodies). Thermal debinding of all parts was performed in a tube furnace up to a temperature of 800 °C. The pre-sintered parts were then subjected to vacuum sintering by application of conventional vacuum sintering profiles up to 1430 °C for hardmetals and up to 1480 °C for cermets. Dimensional and mass changes upon the various preparation steps as well as microstructure and porosity of the sintered bodies were investigated. While the microstructure is practically identical to that of conventionally prepared materials, some cavities were present from the printing process because of yet non-optimised printing strategy. By change of printing strategy the cavities could be minimised or even avoided. The study shows that with the applied 3D extrusion-printing techniques, hardmetal and cermet components with innovative geometries are accessible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials
Issue numberAugust
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Material Extrusion
  • hardmetal
  • cermet
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Sintering

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