• Enhanced sintering and mechanical properties of 316L stainless steel with silicon additions sintering aid

      Youseffi, Mansour; Chong, K.Y.; Jeyacheya, F.M. (2002)
      Alpha phase sintering, sinter hardening, and mechanical properties of prealloyed Fe-1·5Mo base powder with and without additions of elemental Si, ferrosilicon, and carbon under various process conditions have been investigated. Liquid paraffin, as a new lubricating agent, was found to be useful in reducing segregation, interparticle and die wall frictions, as well as reducing ejection forces and die and tool wear. It was found that addition of Si to the base powder enhanced the sintering process by stabilisation of the alpha-phase and formation of two kinds of liquid phase at ~1045 and ~1180°C, corresponding to the solidus and liquidus temperatures, respectively. This addition increased the tensile strength of the as sintered Fe-1·5Mo from 174 to 445MPa owing to massive solid solution strengthening effect of Si. An optimum sinter hardenable alloy, of composition Fe-1·5Mo + 3Si + 1·2C, provided a high sintered density of 7·55g cm-3, tensile and bend strengths of7 64 and 1405MPa, respectively, with 2·5% elongation, after sintering at 1250°C for 1h under hydrogen or vacuum using moderate cooling rates of le20K min-1. Faster cooling rates caused brittleness and very low UTS for the high carbon steel. Full heat treatment improved the UTS by ~200MPa which was useful only for the high carbon steel with high cooling rates ge30K min-1. Depending on the cooling rate, the as sintered microstructures consisted of mainly fine or coarse pearlite, bainite, martensite, and some retained austenite with hardness in the range 250-720HV10. Some proeutectoid grain boundary cementites were also present in the as sintered high carbon steel. This work, therefore, has shown that high densities with acceptable microstructures and good mechanical properties are achievable with single stage compaction and single sintering operations by using the optimum process conditions and alloying composition without the need for a post-sintering heat treatment.