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Evaluation of alternative methods forquality control of Tungsten Carbide: An evaluation of four different particle measuring techniques
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to evaluate four different measuring methods as potentialquality control tests for Tungsten Carbide (WC) raw material used in the hard metalmanufacturing at Seco Tools Fagersta. This was warranted as the current quality testcalled the HcK test, is very time consuming and the results provided that are used formilling time calculations cannot be relied on. The four measuring methods chosen wasLaser diffraction, X-Ray diffraction, Brunauer Emmett Teller analysis and Fisher Sub-Sieve Sizer measurement. These measuring techniques were chosen by Seco ToolsThe project followed the general structure of the project cycle modified to fit the projectand involving the steps project planning, present state analysis, goals and requirementdetermination, evaluation elimination of options and final of choice of option. Thealternative methods were evaluated using an evaluation matrix containing therequirements determined to be the most relevant for the quality control process. Therequirements were measurement precision, operator influence, ease of use, time requiredand operator time required. The ability of the measurement method to distinguishbetween all of the different WC powders used a Seco Tools was put as a must requirementas the new method is meant to serve as a verification test as well as a quality test.The analysis methods were evaluated practically through experiments and therefore atesting strategy was established. Initial test on two powder types was performed so thatan early evaluation could be done. During this stage both the Laser diffraction and the XRaydiffraction were eliminated due to poor results. The BET analysis and the Fisher Sub-Sieve Sizer performed better and was therefore tested further. Randomized testing wasthe method chosen when testing with all powders to minimize the environmental impacton the testing as this could affect the results of the study.The testing showed that only the Fisher SSS was able to distinguish between all thedifferent powders making it the only viable option as a new quality test. This was onlypossible when measuring on agglomerated material and the values extracted couldtherefore not be used further in the production. The Fisher SSS also performed the bestwhen ranked against the rest of the requirements, showing a high precision whenmeasuring on deagglomerated material and a combination of the two tests was thereforeconsidered.When compared to the HcK test the Fisher SSS showed a significant reduction in lead timebut also a reduction in information gathered and eventual defects controlled. The FisherSSS provides only an average particle size measurement and since no correlation has yetbeen established between the measured particle size and the required milling times it wasrecommended that the HcK test remains.It was recommended that a study is started aimed at establishing a correlation betweenthe measured particle size and the required milling time is started to investigate if this ispossible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 71
Keywords [en]
Particle measurement, Quality control, Tungsten Carbide, Hard metal, Fisher Sub-Sieve Sizer, Brunauer Emmett Teller, X-ray Diffraction, Laser Diffraction
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-74670OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-74670DiVA, id: diva2:1326264
External cooperation
Seco Tools
Educational program
Industrial Design Engineering, master's level
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-09-10 Created: 2019-06-17 Last updated: 2019-09-10Bibliographically approved

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