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Densification of a high chromium cold work tool steel powder in different atmospheres by SLPS: Microstructure, heat treatment and micromechanical properties

Farayibi, P.K. and Blüm, M. and Weber, S.

MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING A
Volume: 777 Pages:
DOI: 10.1016/j.msea.2020.139053
Published: 2020

Abstract
The degradation of moulds, dies and tools employed in plastic, food and chemical processing industries has necessitated the development of suitable wear and corrosion-resistant materials. As improving the wear and corrosion resistance of iron base alloys tend to have opposing demands regarding chemical composition and heat treatment, optimisation of both parameters has to be kept in mind. One alloying element that is known to improve both corrosion and wear resistance of steels is nitrogen. Hence, an investigation into the densification of high chromium X190CrVMo20-4-1 cold work tool steel in a vacuum and under a nitrogen atmosphere at different pressures via supersolidus liquid-phase sintering (SLPS) process is reported in this paper. The investigation aimed to elucidate the influence of different atmospheres and nitrogen partial pressures employed during densification on the microstructure, optimal heat treatment parameters and micromechanical properties of the steel. Experimental findings were supplemented by computational thermodynamics calculations. The results revealed that increasing nitrogen pressure promoted the diffusion of vanadium from Cr-rich carbides (M7C3) to form V-rich carbonitrides, M(C,N). Optimum quench-hardening temperature was strongly influenced by the matrix chemistry. Upon tempering, the nitrogen-sintered samples had higher secondary hardening potential than the vacuum-sintered at a higher temperature, but a low-temperature tempering is beneficial to the corrosion resistance of the steel. The mechanical properties of the carbides in the densified steels in different atmospheres were influenced by their chemical composition. Experimental observations are in good agreement with computational thermodynamic evaluations. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.

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