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Scope and Topics

The 12th International Conference on the Science of Hard Materials (ICSHM12) attempts to bring together scientists, technologists and manufacturers of Hard Materials. This broad but unique set of materials includes technically successful and continuously evolving subgroups such as cemented carbides, cermets, advanced ceramics, composites and super-hard materials. Through the years, synergy between science and technology has catalyzed achievement of superior quality and enhanced performance of components, tools and devices of hard materials by means of innovative microstructural design at different length-scales: bulk/film, monolithic/composite, functionally graded, surface modified, and micro/nano-structures.

As a consequence, the range of applications for hard materials has been growing not only within consolidated sectors such as metalworking, mining, oil- and gas-drilling, construction, process and machine building industries, but also into high-tech and emerging technologies in the electronics, aeronautics and dental sectors, among others. As it has been the tradition in the previous eleven conferences, the aim of ICSHM12 will be to provide an interdisciplinary forum for presentation, discussion and exchange of modeling, experimental and applied concepts that contribute in the advancement of Hard Materials.


To attain the goals of the conference, the following relevant topics will be addressed:

  • Fundamental Aspects of Hard Materials

  • Advanced Characterization at different Length Scales

  • Structure/Property Correlations 

  • Advances in Processing Technology: Shaping, Sintering and Finishing

  • Simulation and Modeling

  • Computational Thermodynamics and Design of Hard Materials

  • Alternative Hard Materials: Binder and Hard Phases

  • Recycling, (Critical) Raw Materials and Enviromental Impact

  • Life Cycle Assessment of Hard Material Production and Applications

  • Superhard Materials: Diamond, PcBN and Ceramics

  • Coatings and Alternative Surface Modification Technologies

  • Additive Manufacturing

  • Macro-, Micro- and Nanomechanical Testing

  • Wear, Tribology, Corrosion, Enviromental Degradation and Surface Integrity

  • Performance of Hard Materials under Extreme Service Conditions

  • Hard Materials for Energy Applications, incuding fusion energy

  • Artificial Intelligence in Hard Materials Research

  • Technical Innovations


The international conferences on hard materials (ICSHM) were a natural outgrowth of the series of seven Hard Materials Workshops sponsored by the Division of Materials Research of the National Science Foundation. At the last of these, in 1979 at the University of Illinois, it was agreed to expand the attendance to include overseas colleagues and to include many more papers. This decision reflected the general belief that these workshops had fulfilled their purpose of interesting academic investigators in the area of hard materials research and of putting industrial research groups in touch with university counterparts.

Based on the efforts of a handful of people (both from academia and industry), a grant from the National Science Foundation, and seed money from Reed Rock Bit and GTE Precision Materials, an organizing committee started the process of planning the “First International Conference on the Science of Hard Materials”. The conference was a roaring success and the attendees unanimously requested a permanent continuance of such meetings. The rest as they say is history.

Conferences have been held every few years so as to allow sufficient time to maintain the presentation and discussion of a high level of new and innovative research and development. This has been and will continue to be the trademark of these conferences, held at:

  • ICSHM 1 Moran, Wyoming, USA; August, 1981
    Proceedings 1st. International Conference on "Science of Hard Materials" (Jackson, WY, USA), Plenum, New York (1981)

  • ICSHM 2 Rhodes, Greece; September, 1984
    Proceedings 2nd. International Conference on "Science of Hard Materials" (Rhodes, Greece), Institute of Physics Conference Series Nº 75, Adam Hilger, Bristol (1986)

  • ICSHM 3 Nassau, Bahamas; November, 1987
    Material Science and Engineering, A105/106 (1988), Elsevier Sequoia, Ed. V. K. Sarin.

  • ICSHM 4 Madeira, Portugal; November, 1991
    Journal of Hard Materials, Vol. 2, 1-4 (1991) and Vol.3, 1-4 (1992), Carfax Publishing Co., Eds. C.A. Brooks and R. Warren.

  • ICSHM 5 Maui, Hawaii, USA; February, 1995
    Material Science and Engineering, A 209, 1-2 (1996), Elsevier Science, Ed. V. K. Sarin.

  • ICSHM 6 Lanzarote, Spain; March, 1998
    International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, Vol. 17, 1-3 (1999), Elsevier, Eds. H. G. Sockel, H. E. Hintermann, and V. K. Sarin

  • ICSHM 7 Ixtapa, Mexico; March, 2001
    International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, Vol. 19, 4-6 (2001), Elsevier, Eds. L. Llanes, I. C. Grigorescu, and V. K. Sarin.

  • ICSHM 8 San Juan, Puerto Rico; November, 2004
    International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, Vol. 23, 4-6 (2005) and Vol. 24, 1-2 (2006), Elsevier, Eds. L. Llanes, D. Mari, and V. K. Sarin.

  • ICSHM 9 Montego Bay, Jamaica; March, 2008
    International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, Vol. 27, 2 (2009), Elsevier, Eds. D. Mari, L. Llanes, and V. K. Sarin.

  • ICSHM 10 Cancun, Mexico; March, 2014
    International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, Vol. 49, 3 (2015), Elsevier, Eds. , L. Llanes, D. Mari, and V. K. Sarin.

  • ICSHM 11 Khao Lak, Thailand, 2019
    International Journal of Refractory Metals & Hard Materials, Vol. 95 (2021), Elsevier, Eds. , D. Mari, E. Jimenez-Pique, L. Llanes and V. K. Sarin.

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