The outstanding mechanical properties exhibited by hardmetals results from the combination of two phases with different local properties. In particular, this is true regarding experimental analysis on the influence of phase nature, crystal orientation and interfacial adhesion strength on hardness for Ti(C,N)-FeNiC composites. The present work aims to conduct a systematic micro- and nanomechanical study of the mechanical integrity of five Ti(C,N)-FeNiC systems with different ceramic and carbon content. In doing so, it is attempted by combining massive nanoindentation, statistical analysis using the methodology proposed by Ulm, and implementation of a thin film models (mainly Korsunsky and Puchi-Cabrera models) for deconvolution of the intrinsic hardness and flow stress of the metallic phase.
Experimental results validate the evidence of anisotropy for the Ti(C,N) phase, as well as permit to identify and account the expected strengthening of the plastic-constrained FeNiC binder, a critical input parameter for hardness and toughness modeling.