Silicon Nitride Tools for Hot Rolling of High-Alloyed Steel and Superalloy Wires
For hot rolling wires of high-alloyed steels or superalloys tools are nowadays made of ce¬mented carbides. In service they suffer from roughening of the surfaces and severe wear, which de¬teriorates the surface quality of the wires and restricts the lifetime of the tool. Due to their high hard¬ness and good high-temperature properties, improvements in tool behaviour can be expected by the use of silicon nitride tools. Experiments with several types of rollers were performed in commercial rolling mills. At modest and medium severe loaded positions (e.g. in the case of guidance rolls) silicon nitride rolls show superior performance to conventional steel or cemented carbide rolls. At the most severe loaded positions silicon nitride rolls were also superior to conventional rolls when rolling high strength steel wires. But for rolling superalloy wires, cracks, which limited further applications of the rolls, appeared in the roll surface profile (calibre). Cracks in the surface of the rollers are in general caused by Hertzian contact stresses, which can reach several hundred MPa. These cracks come into existence if a limiting load is exceeded. Then small flaws can quickly extend to a length of more then one millimetre, and then they stop again (pop in behaviour). Popped in cracks can slowly extend by cyclic fatigue up to a length where breaking out of large fragments of the rollers occurs. The critical load depends on the flow curve of the rolled materials and on the design of the rolls. For the analysed design it is exceeded when rolling superalloy wires, but it is not exceeded when rolling materials having a lower flow curve.
J. Dusza, R. Danzer, R. Morrell and G.D. Quinn
R. Danzer et al., "Silicon Nitride Tools for Hot Rolling of High-Alloyed Steel and Superalloy Wires", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 409, pp. 43-54, 2009