ABSTRACT Copper composites reinforced with diamond particles were fabricated by the powder metallurgical technique. Copper matrix and diamond powders were mixed mechanically, cold com- pacted at 100 bar then sintered at 900?C. The prepared powders and sintered copper/diamond composites were investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM/EDS). The effect of diamond contents in the Cu/diamond composite on the different properties of the composite was studied. On fracture surfaces of the Cu/uncoated diamond composites, it was found that there is a very weak bonding between diamonds and pure copper matrix. In order to improve the bonding strength between copper and the reinforcement, diamond particles were electroless coated with NiWB alloy. The results show that coated diamond particles distribute uniformly in copper composite and the interface between diamond particles and Cu matrix is clear and well bonded due to the formation of a thin layer from WB2, Ni3B, and BC2 between Cu and diamond interfaces. The properties of the composites materials using coated powder, such as hardness, transverse rupture strength, thermal conductivity, and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) were exhibit greater values than that of the composites using uncoated diamond powder. Additionally, the results reveals that the maximum diamond incorporation was attained at 20 Vf%. Actually, Cu/20 Vf% coated diamond com- posite yields a high thermal conductivity of 430 W/mK along with a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 6 × 10–6/K.
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