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Development of cutting and forming tools based on niobium carbide

Grant number: 18/00935-3
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: July 01, 2019 - June 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Manufacturing Processes
Principal Investigator:Eduardo Cannizza
Grantee:Eduardo Cannizza
Company:Brats Indústria e Comércio de Produtos Metálicos Especiais Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Metalurgia dos metais não-ferrosos e suas ligas não especificados anteriormente
City: Cajamar
Co-Principal Investigators:Laerte José Fernandes
Assoc. researchers:Humberto Naoyuki Yoshimura ; João Pedro Valls Tosetti ; Marcos Flavio de Campos ; Suzilene Real Janasi
Associated scholarship(s):19/18260-5 - Developmente of cutting and forming tools based on NbC, BP.PIPE


As has been presented in this project proposal, this refers to the development of cutting tools and mechanical conformation, using based material the Niobium Carbide (NbC), replacing the Tungsten Carbide (WC). Tungsten is now considered a strategic raw material, taking to a risk to the multi-component production chain, due to the dependence on the supply of this material and the export policies of China, where 60% of the reserves are located. On the other hand, the chemical, physical, mechanical and tribological properties of NbC, places it as an alternative to WC, in the manufacture of cutting tools and mechanical forming tools. Niobium economically exploitable is found almost entirely in Brazil (approximately 90%), The Niobium reserves are higher than tungsten. In addition to high technical and economic potential, Niobium Oxide (Nb2O5), the raw material for theproduction of NbC, is not classified as "toxic" by the international agencies that regulate in this respect. In order for the NbC to consolidate itself as an alternative in the replacement of the WC for the manufacture of tools, some challenges must be overcome. It is necessary to explore deeplier fundamental aspects that have relevant technological impact. Thermodynamic and kinetic aspects may direct both the synthesis of the Niobium Carbide and the sintering process in order to obtain metallurgical characteristics and properties that allow high performance for several applications. This proposal, from a methodological point of view, goes from the production of NbC, with characteristics and properties appropriate to the various applications in cutting and forming tools, to the performance evaluation of tool prototypes through all stages of the process: grinding / mixing; addition of binders / lubricants; compaction, sintering, grinding for transformation of preforms into tools;mechanical and metallurgical characterization; performance evaluation of prototypes; and sale of smallcommercial lots. Some advantages of replacing WC with NbC are: low density of NbC (half of WC), making it competitive in terms of price per kilo, reducing inertia in dynamic tools; good mechanical and tribological properties, often higher than WC; high chemical stability, which can reduce diffusive wear, a frequent cause of consumption of cutting tools; good mechanical properties at high temperatures, a fundamental characteristic for tools that operate at high temperatures; niobium oxide is not toxic material. To take advantage of these, some steps of the tool manufacturing processes have to be better understood and scaled. The primary objective of the company will be to manufacture and commercialize up to 100kg / month of blanks of cutting tools or sintered mechanical forming ones in several different compositions and geometries, based on NbC. In addition, the company intends to provide development services for sintered compounds based on NbC, together with manufacturers of tools interested in the use of this material as raw material for its products. (AU)