This document gives guidelines for the measurement of hardmetal grain size by metallographic techniques only using optical or electron microscopy. It is intended for WC/Co hardmetals (also called cemented carbides or cermets) containing primarily tungsten carbide (WC) as the hard phase. It is also intended for measuring the grain size and distribution by the linear-intercept technique.
This document essentially covers four main topics:
- calibration of microscopes, to underpin the accuracy of measurements;
- linear analysis techniques, to acquire sufficient statistically meaningful data;
- analysis methods, to calculate representative average values;
- reporting, to comply with modern quality requirements.
This document is supported by a measurement case study to illustrate the recommended techniques (see Annex A).
This document is not intended for the following:
- measurements of size distribution;
- recommendations on shape measurements. Further research is needed before recommendations for shape measurement can be given.
Measurements of coercivity are sometimes used for grain-size measurement, however, this document is concerned only with a metallographic measurement method. It is also written for hardmetals and not for characterizing powders. However, the method can, in principle, be used for measuring the average size of powders that are suitably mounted and sectioned.
 DE: Wolframcarbid, EN: tungsten carbide.