Effect of Different Vacuum Heat Treatments on the Microstructure of a Low Alloyed Sintered Steel
The main aim of the present contribution is to show how different heat treatment conditions influence the microstructure of a Fe - [1.5Cr - 0.2Mo] - 0.6C powder system. In vacuum furnaces, the cooling rate is generally determined by the pressure of the gas (basically N2) introduced into the chamber. Different gas pressures have been applied, from 0 to 6 bars. The average cooling rates were calculated in the range of 1180 °C to 400 °C and were varying from 0.1 to 6 °C/s, according to the gas pressure. Considering the cooling rates, increasing the nitrogen pressure resulted in an increased amount of bainite/martensite microstructure. The microstructure constituents ranged from 97% pearlite + 3% ferrite in the system treated at 0 bar to 82 % martensite + 18 % bainite (with small amount of tempered martensite) in the system cooled applying N2 at 6 bars. Mechanical properties have been evaluated in terms of toughness, TRS and hardness for all processing conditions; the analysis of the properties allowed to plot graphs correlating the different properties as function of the characteristic microstructures.
Ionel Chicinaş and Liviu Brânduşan
R. Bidulský et al., "Effect of Different Vacuum Heat Treatments on the Microstructure of a Low Alloyed Sintered Steel", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 672, pp. 293-296, 2011