Reinforcement of Conducting Silver-based Materials
AbstractSilver is a well-known material in the field of contact materials because of its high electrical and thermal conductivity. However, due to its bad mechanical and switching properties, silver alloys or reinforcements of the ductile silver matrix are required. Different reinforcements, e. g. tungsten, tungsten carbide, nickel, cadmium oxide or tin oxide, are used in different sectors of switches. To reach an optimal distribution of these reinforcements, various manufacturing techniques (e. g. powder blending, preform infiltration, wet-chemical methods, internal oxidation) are being used for the production of these contact materials. Each of these manufacturing routes offers different advantages and disadvantages. The mechanical alloying process displays a successful and efficient method to produce particle-reinforced metal-matrix composite powders. This contribution presents the obtained fine disperse microstructure of tungsten-particle-reinforced silver composite powders produced by the mechanical alloying process and displays this technique as possible route to provide feedstock powders for subsequent consolidation processes.
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