Determining the density distribution in cemented carbide powder compacts using 3D neutron imaging

Hjalmar Staf, Zoltán Kis, L. Szentmiklósi, Bartek Kaplan, Erik Olsson, Per Lennart Larsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Spray-dried refractory carbide and metal powder mixtures, containing tungsten carbide, is compacted and sintered during the production of conventional cutting tool inserts. Since friction between the pressing tool and the powder gives rise to density gradients in the powder compact, shrinkage during sintering is uneven. The shape of the sintered blank is important and can be predicted with finite element (FE) simulations. To validate the simulation of the pressing procedure, the density gradients in the powder compacts must be measured with a high spatial resolution. Since tungsten has a high atomic number, it is hard to penetrate with X-rays and even cold neutrons. We show here that by using a polychromatic beam of thermal neutrons, along with beam-hardening correction, such measurements can be successfully realized. The obtained results show good agreement with corresponding FE-simulations. Also, deliberate differences in the compaction process could be verified with the neutron measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-590
Number of pages7
JournalPowder Technology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Carbide and metal powder mixtures
  • Density distribution
  • FEM simulations
  • Polychromatic thermal neutrons
  • Powder compaction
  • Tungsten carbides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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