Characterization of surface oxides on water-atomized steel powder by XPS/AES depth profiling and nano-scale lateral surface analysis
Journal article, 2013
Characterization of oxide products on the surface of water-atomized steel powder is essential in order to determine the reducing conditions required for their removal during the sintering stage which in turn will result in improved mechanical properties. Pre-alloyed powder with 3 wt% Cr and 0.5 wt% Mo was chosen as the model material. Investigation of the powder surface characteristics with regard to composition, morphology, size and distribution of surface oxides was performed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger electron spectroscopy and high resolution scanning electron microscopy combined with X-ray microanalysis. The analysis revealed that the powder is covered by a homogeneous (similar to 6 nm thick) Fe-oxide layer to similar to 94% whereas the rest is covered by fine particulate features with the size below 500 nm. These particulates were further analyzed and were divided into three main categories (i) Cr-based oxides with simultaneous presence of nitrogen, (ii) Si-based oxides of "hemispherical" shape and (iii) agglomerates of the afore mentioned oxides.
Water atomized powder
Alloyed sintered steels
HR SEM plus EDX analysis