Critical Aspects of Alloying of Sintered Steels with Manganese
Journal article, 2010
This study examines the sintering behavior and properties of Fe-0.8Mn-0.5C manganese powder metallurgy steels. The study focuses on the influence of mode of alloying-admixing using either high-purity electrolytic manganese or medium carbon ferromanganese as well as the fully prealloying of water-atomized powder. Three main aspects were studied during the whole sintering process-microstructure development, interparticle necks evolution, and changes in the behavior of manganese carrier particles during both heating and sintering stages. The prealloyed powder shows considerable improvement in carbon homogenization and interparticle neck development in comparison with admixed materials. The first indication of pearlite for the fully prealloyed material was registered at similar to 1013 K (740 degrees C) in comparison with similar to 1098 K (825 degrees C) in the case of the admixed systems. The negative effect of the oxidized residuals of manganese carrier particles and high microstructure inhomogeneity, which is a characteristic feature of admixed systems, is reflected in the lower values of the mechanical properties. The worst results in this respect were obtained for the system admixed with electrolytic manganese because of more intensive manganese sublimation and resulting oxidation at lower temperatures. According to the results of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analyses, the observed high brittleness of admixed materials is connected with intergranular decohesion failure associated with manganese oxide formation on the grain boundaries.