Cu-based composites have been used in the manufacture of components for the electronics and mold industries, where heat extraction is a critical parameter. However, copper does not meet the requirements of high hardness and low coefficient of wear, required in some particular applications, for example in the manufacture of plungers for molds. These components require high thermal conductivity (for an efficient heat extraction), associated with good physical, mechanical and tribological properties, namely a low coefficient of thermal expansion, high hardness and a low coefficient of friction (to withstand wear). The use of aged Cu-based alloys reinforced with diamond particles is a possible way to overcome this limitation. Since its high thermal conductivity makes this material suitable for the manufacture of components where heat extraction is a determining factor.
In this project we propose to develop new materials based on a textured Cu-Be-Co alloy, reinforced at the surface by functionalized diamond particles of different sizes. The process of fabrication is innovative and consists of texturing of the matrix by laser, functionalization of diamond particles by means of a low-melting Cu-Sn-Ti alloy, by two different techniques (sputtering and mechanical alloying), and its incorporation into the textured Cu-Be-Co surface by laser. In order to assess the impact of this new production technique on the final properties of the obtained materials, samples of this composite will also be made by conventional powder metallurgy. A Cu-Be-Co alloy substrate and a composite coating consisting of the Cu-Be-Co alloy and the functionalized diamond particles will be consolidated / sintered by uniaxial hot pressing.