Critical aspects of sinter-hardening of prealloyed Cr-Mo steel
Journal article, 2010
In recent years, growing demand for greater mechanical properties of PM steel components with competitive fabrication cost has led to significant innovations in different fields of powder metallurgy. Recent research has been focused on reaching higher performance with lower cost. To this end, the possibility of combining the conventional sintering and post-sintering processes for a particular powder composition has been introduced. Sinter-hardening is a result of the research conducted along this line. Elimination of any secondary operation such as quench-hardening by incorporating it in the sintering process (i.e. sinter-hardening) is of great interest, as it will lead to lower processing costs and equal, if not higher mechanical performance. However, to ensure the desired mechanical properties of the final component and robustness of the performance, critical aspects of the sinter-hardening process should be rigorously studied. Hence with specific attention to a Cr-Mo steel powder (FL-5305), this study deals with the influence of density on cooling rate, the effect of different sintering temperatures (e.g. 1120 degrees C and 1250 degrees C) on austenite grain size and consequently, hardenability. The microstructure development in sinter-hardened FL-5305 material has been analyzed and predicted by means of the available literature for solid steel and also using the commercial software (JMatPro 5.0) for materials assessment based on thermodynamic and kinetics modeling. Finally, inaccurate carbon control and its adverse impact on excessive formation of cementite have been addressed. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Chromium alloyed steel