Development of Adapted Heat Treatments for Steels out of the Semi-Solid State after Thixoforming
The process of thixoforming incorporates a series of forming processes in the semi-solid state, which can be categorized between the conventional processes of forging and casting and combines the advantages of these processes. Thixoforming of steels in the semi-solid state, requires round, solid particles (globulites) in a liquid matrix which is deformed with low forming forces. In order to achieve laminar material flow and to produce segregation-free components, the material must fulfil diverse criteria. First, the melting interval should be as large as possible for an easy temperature regulation. Next, low solidus and liquidus temperatures are advantageous regarding tool loading. Additionally, thixoformable steels should show a melting behaviour that is finegrained and globular. Furthermore, these steels should possess low contents of intraglobular liquid phase fractions. This paper gives a survey of the current state of steel Thixoforming and deals with the development of adaptive heat treatment strategies. Regarding the structure formation and the development of suitable heat treatment strategies, the once semi-solid state yields new structures that can be applied in ways not previously possible with conventional hardening processes. New microstructures and up to date unknown better mechanical properties can be adjusted with an optimised heat treatment strategy. By this, new fields of application for thixo-materials can be entered and also advanced procedures for special applications can be established. For example the steel X210CrW12 leads to a very hard material with high wear-resistance, which can be used at higher temperatures than the conventional hardened material. In general, new generic microstructures after thixoforming results in unexpected favourable mechanical properties. Problems arise with respect to segregation and pores which resulting in inhomogeneous property distributions.
G. Hirt, A. Rassili, A. Bührig-Polaczek
S. Dziallach et al., "Development of Adapted Heat Treatments for Steels out of the Semi-Solid State after Thixoforming", Solid State Phenomena, Vols. 141-143, pp. 695-700, 2008