The effects of ultrasonic vibration on mechanical properties of tungsten particle-reinforced copper-matrix composites

Te Tan Liao, Chieh Kung, Chun-Ta Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


W-Cu micro-powder mixtures usually have poor sinterability due to the relatively low solubility of W in both solid and liquid Cu. In fabricating W-Cu composites, an electroless copper plating process is often used to coat Cu on the W particle surface prior to the sintering process. Due to their small size W particles tend to agglomerate during the plating process, hence the individual particle may not be properly coated with Cu. In this study, ultrasonic vibration is applied in the electroless plating process to break up the agglomerations and restrain the powders from gathering, ensuring a uniform deposition of the Cu on individual W particle. W-Cu composite samples containing pure Cu and 6, 9 and 12 wt-% of Cu-coated W particles, respectively, are fabricated using a standard powder metallurgy technique. It is shown that the application of ultrasonic vibration in the activation and deposition steps of the electroless copper plating process prevents W powder agglomeration and ensures that each W particle is coated with Cu. As a result, the mechanical properties of the W-Cu composites are significantly improved. It is found that the optimal tensile strength and yield strength are obtained using a W reinforcement phase content of 9 wt-%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-458
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Metallurgical Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 2



  • Electroless plating
  • composite material
  • powder metallurgy
  • ultrasonic vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Metals and Alloys
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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