Progress in Powder Metallurgy

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Authors: Elena Gordo, B. Gómez, Roberto González, E.M. Ruiz-Navas
Abstract: The development of Fe-based metal matrix composites (MMCs) with high content of hard phase has been approached by combining the use of advanced powder metallurgy techniques like high-energy milling (HEM), cold isostatic pressing (CIP) and vacuum sintering. The most innovative is the use of HEM for the obtaining of a composite powder avoiding the formation of clusters in the microstructure of the sintered material, and the study of hardenability of sintered materials. A 30 % vol. of NbC particles was mixed with Fe powder by HEM in a planetary mill under Ar atmosphere to prevent oxidation. The optimal milling time was determined by sampling every two hours until 10 hours of milling, characterising the powder by the observation of morphology and microstructure by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and controlling the carbon content by a LECO analyser. Composite powders were compacted by CIP and then sintered in vacuum at temperatures between 1300 °C and 1375 °C, during 30 min and 60 min. The variation of density, hardness and carbon content with sintering temperature and time, besides the microstructural changes observed, permits to find the optimal conditions of processing. Afterwards, a heat treatment study was performed to study the hardenability of the cermet.
Authors: Hwan Jin Sung, Tae Kwon Ha, Sang Ho Ahn, Young Won Chang
Abstract: In the present study, powder injection molding (PIM) process, in which the porosity of sintered parts can be easily controlled, has been employed to produce specimens with the various porosities from the initial stage of sintering and to the stage of nearly full density. A series of tensile tests has been conducted on these specimens at room temperature to elucidate the effect of a wide range of porosity. The material used in this study was 17-4 PH stainless steel, which is the precipitation hardenable stainless steel containing 4% of Cu and well known to show high strength and the high corrosion resistance at the same time. The 17-4 PH stainless steel powders used in this study were produced by the high-pressure water atomization method. Based on the results of tensile tests on the specimens with the various porosity, a new approach to predict the elongation of sintered materials has been carried out and a new framework combining neck growth model and ideal pore model has been established.
Authors: Odd Sandberg, Andreas Krona, Sigurd Berg, Flemming Kaad, Göran Nord
Abstract: Tool steels for powder pressing are normally heat treated to a high hardness to counteract plastic deformation during the compacting process. Ductility and wear resistance of the die punch or core rod are determined by the type, size, amount, hardness and distribution of the hard phase in the martensitic matrix. Thus, tool steels can be designed and optimized for specific powder pressing application. To be able to utilize the full potential of the tool steel, also the design, heat treatment and eventual surface coating of the steel must be taken into account. In this paper new low-friction tool steel is investigated in PM manufacturing for a number of applications. An increase of tool life of more than two times compared to ordinary tool steels is found. Furthermore, the new low friction tool steel shows a potential for sintered parts with higher densities through the applicability of increased compaction pressure or minimized lubricant amount.
Authors: Christian Gornik, Jochen Perko
Abstract: M390 microclean® of Böhler Edelstahl is a powder metallurgical plastic mould steel with a high level of corrosion and wear resistance and therefore often used in the plastics processing industry. But as a consequence of rapidly advancing developments in the plastics processing industry the required level of wear resistance of tool steels in this field is constantly rising. For that reason a new PM tool steel with higher hardness values and an increased amount of primary carbides has been developed to improve the resistance against abrasive and adhesive wear. The wear resistance of both steels against adhesive situations for components of the plastification unit of injection moulding machines has been tested with a novel method. In case of processing polyolefins with an injection moulding machine it was found that there is adhesive wear between the check-ring and the flights of the screw tip of the non-return valve under certain circumstances. The temperature in that region was measured with an infrared temperature sensor. The existence of significant peaks of that signal was used as an indicator for an adhesive wear situation.
Authors: C. Tojal, T. Gómez-Acebo, F. Castro
Abstract: The use of boron for successfully obtaining high density PM stainless steels with improved mechanical properties and corrosion resistance is presented. Boron is added as part of master alloys which have been specifically designed to provide the formation of wetting liquid phases with excellent characteristics for producing controlled densification and alloying of 316L and 304L austenitic stainless steels. The as-sintered density and properties of these alloys is determined by the amount of master alloy, the chemical composition of the stainless steel powder, the sintering temperature and time. The microstructural development and alloy homogenisation are determined by the chemical composition of the Fe-based powder and the chemical reactions taking place between the basic powder and the master alloy particles during high temperature sintering. The use of this master alloy is shown to lead to stainless steels with outstanding combinations of strength and ductility. The influence of alloying and the sintering conditions on the final microstructure, density, corrosion resistance and tensile properties is also discussed.
Authors: Bruce Lindsley, Thomas Murphy
Abstract: 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.
Authors: Fırat Kafkas, Çetin Karatas, Suleyman Saritaş
Abstract: The characteristics of residual stresses occurring in PM steel based nickel (FLN2-4405) was investigated. Residual stresses were measured by electrochemical layer removal technique. The values and distributions of residual stresses occurring in PM steel processed under various densities (6.8, 7.05, 7.2 and 7.4 g/cm3) and heat treatment conditions (sintered at 2050 ºF, sintered at 2300 ºF, quenching-tempered, and sinter-hardened) were determined. In most of the experiments, tensile residual stresses were recorded on the surface of the samples. The residual stress distribution on the surface of the PM steels was found to be affected by the heat treatment conditions and density. The maximum values of residual stresses on the surface showed sinter hardened condition and a density of 7.4 g/cm3. The minimum level of recorded tensile residual stresses are150 MPa and its maximum level is 370 MPa.
Authors: Ahmet Güral, Süleyman Tekeli, Dursun Özyürek, Metin Gürü
Abstract: The effect of repeated quenching heat treatment on microstructure and dry sliding wear behavior of low carbon PM steel was investigated. For this purpose, atomized iron powder was mixed with 0.3 % graphite and 1 % Ni powders. The mixed powders were cold pressed and sintered at 1200°C for 30 min under pure Ar gas atmosphere. Some of the sintered specimens were intercritically annealed at 760°C and quenched in water (single quenching). The other sintered specimens were first fully austenized at 890°C and water quenched. These specimens were then intercritically annealed at 760°C and re-quenched in water. The martensite volume fraction in the double quenched specimens was higher than that of the single quenched specimen. Wear tests were carried out on the single and double quenched specimens under dry sliding wear condition using a pin-on-disk type machine at constant load and speed. The experimental results showed that the wear coefficient effectively decreased in the double quenched specimen.
Authors: Chong Lin Wang, Ping Wang, Zai Min Shi
Abstract: Fe-4Ni-0.5Mo-1Cu powder was selected as raw material, pressed and sinter-hardened at 1135°C for 30 min with rapid cooling. The density varies in the range of 7.24-7.29 g/cm3. Its fatigue properties have been tested in axial loading of alternating tensile/compressive stress at R=-1 with a servo-pulse pump. The fatigue endurance limit was measured to be 260 MPa. The microstructure showed more homogeneous bainite and martensite. Neither Ni nor Mo rich areas were detected. Fractography displayed the fatigue cracks initiated from the pore areas near the surface. A nontypical ductile fatigue striation was found. More dimples occurred on fracture surface due to the plastic deformation, which can prohibit cracking propagation and improve its fatigue properties.

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