According to the Iranian Nanotechnology Initiative Council, during the past years, industry workers used high carbon steels and cast alloys as metallic cutters. After a period of time, ceramic cutters including carbides, coated carbides, and alumina came into the market in order to improve the performance of the initial cutters.
Today, researchers believe that by applying nanotechnology in the production of cutters, their mechanical properties can be improved so that their performance gets better.
"We managed to produce alumina-based nanocomposites by carbide particles at a low price," boasted Zakkeri, one of the members of the research team.
"Using cheap oxide raw materials and the single step production by means of mechanical milling at room temperature resulted in the reduction of the related costs," he added.
However, Zakkeri explained that the main thrust of the present study is to produce some nanostructured powders which could lead to the improvement of mechanical properties of cutters.
He added that in this research, the possibility of synthesizing and shaping alumina-based nanocomposites by carbide particles of SiC, TiC, and WC has been investigated separately. In the mentioned systems, oxide materials of SiO2, TiO2, and WO3 together with aluminum and graphite were being milled respectively in planetary mill.
Then the effects of parameters like milling time, raw materials composition, surface controlling materials, and anneal time were examined, Zakkeri stressed.
He described the synthesis of the mentioned powder as an important success in spare parts industry, and added, "Today, many industries require cutters with a better quality than the current ones."