Dimensional Precision in Sinter-Hardening PM Steels
Dimensional precision is a critical parameter in net shape processing of ferrous PM components. Beyond the dimensional changes associated with pressing and sintering of typical low alloy PM steels, sinter-hardening alloys undergo a transformation from austenite to martensite. The formation of martensite results in a large expansion during cooling, as martensite is the lowest density phase in steels. Tempering hardened steels results in shrinkage, as the martensite converts to a ferrite and carbide microstructure of higher density. Both of these transformations have a large impact on the dimensional change. In addition, martensitic regions with high Cu and C contents may contain large amounts of retained austenite. As austenite is the highest density phase, retained austenite results in less growth of the compact. The presence of martensite and retained austenite, in addition to the tempering step, all play a role in the final dimensions of a component. This paper reviews two sinter-hardening grades and investigates the dimensional and microstructural changes of those grades through different post-sintering thermal treatments.
Duk Yong Yoon, Suk-Joong L. Kang, Kwang Yong Eun and Yong-Seog Kim
B. Lindsley and T. Murphy, "Dimensional Precision in Sinter-Hardening PM Steels ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 534-536, pp. 665-668, 2007