Master Thesis: Effect of post treatment on phase stability in cemented carbides

Division Rock Tools, part of the business area Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, offers a thesis project in the area of cemented carbide materials for rock drilling tools. The position is placed at the division's R&D department in Stockholm, Sweden.

Business area Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is a leading supplier in equipment and tools, service and technical solutions for the mining and construction industries. Application areas include, for example, rock drilling, rock cutting, rock crushing, loading and hauling, and materials handling.

The focus lies on bringing value to customers through high-performing products that increase productivity and safety as well as to provide services and flexible maintenance programs that extend uptime and cut costs.

Background and purpose

Cemented carbides are a composite material consisting of WC grains embedded in a Co-rich binder phase, produced through liquid-phase sintering. Cemented carbide inserts are used in applications like rock drilling. The last step in the manufacturing process chain consists of post-treatment of the sintered cemented carbides. There is a possibility that the post-treatment can influence the phase stability of the material. From an industry point of view, this is an important topic to investigate in order to be able to optimize the properties for future cemented carbide materials.

Work description

The aim of this Master thesis is to investigate the microstructural evolution in cemented carbide materials after post-treatment. The thesis will comprise material manufacturing, characterization, post-treatment and mechanical testing. The focus of the analysis work will be on scanning electron microscopy as well as electron backscatter diffraction analysis. The work will be performed in close collaboration with the R&D team and the production unit. The thesis offers possibilities to develop practical and analytical skills within physical metallurgy of cemented carbides, material characterization as well as material science engineering in general. The thesis is focused on the microstructure evaluation and characterization work and will comprise of activities as for example:

  • Literature study
  • Planning production of materials
  • Sample preparation techniques
  • Microstructure characterization using different analysis methods
  • Post-treatment and component testing
  • Oral and written presentation in English


The master thesis lasts 20 weeks full-time. The time plan is flexible, but we would prefer to start the work in the first quarter of 2021.

The location for this position is Stockholm (Västberga), Sweden.

Student background

Appropriate schooling is a Master of Science in Engineering, or equivalent, preferably specializing in material science. As an individual you should be curious, self-going and a team player, with good capabilities of expressing yourself orally and in writing.

Contact person

For more information regarding this position, please contact:
Ida Borgh,
Mirjam Lilja,


Your application should include a letter of application, CV, transcript of records and possible references.

Please send your application to Ida Borgh,

Please send in your application as soon as possible, but no later than October 31, 2020, as the selection is done continuously.

Read more about business area Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology

Read more about Sandvik's offering to the mining and construction industries on our website