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Powder metallurgical silver-metal oxide electrical contacts by an electroless coating process

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Electrical contacts grade Ag-CdO and Ag-ZnO composite powders have been produced by two different processing routes, i.e. the conventional powder metallurgy (PM) route involving mixing/blending of silver and oxide phase particles and the electroless coating route. The conventional PM route often exhibits grossly inhomogeneous distribution of the oxide phase in the silver matrix leading to inferior electrical contact properties. The electroless coating process has been developed as an alternative to overcome this problem. The powders so produced were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis. They were subjected to pressing, sintering, repressing and hot pressing operations to obtain high density cylindrical compacts. Compacts were then evaluated for density, hardness, microstructure and electrical properties. The effects of the powder processing route on the characteristics of powder as well as the properties of the final compacts for both the Ag-CdO and Ag-ZnO systems have been studied.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Metallurgical Engineering, M. S. University of Baroda, Baroda 390 001, India; 2: Research Centre, Indian Petrochemicals Corp. Ltd, Baroda 391 346, India; 3: Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Material Science. Indian Institute of Technologv, Bombay 400 076, India


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