High Performance PM Steels Through Sinter Hardening
A cost-effective way to achieve high-performance PM low alloyed steel components is the sinter hardening process route. By controlling the cooling rate accordingly one can steer the microstructure and consequently the mechanical performance of the component. Therefore materials with sufficiently high hardenability are required which in turn can be controlled by optimising the chemical composition. In this study a number of materials suitable for sinter hardening applications have been evaluated with regard to their mechanical performance. The study was complemented with basic material data such as CCT diagrams and Jominy hardenability testing. Metallographic investigation was performed in order to correlate the respective microstructure with the obtained mechanical properties. Results show that using the suitable material data one has flexibility in choosing the appropriate material, over a broad range, for addressing challenging applications through the sinter-hardening process route.