Considerations when sintering Chromium-alloyed PM-Steels
Chromium is an attractive alloying element in steels due to its positive effect on hardenability and low cost. Historically, the use of chromium has been limited in PM steels due to cost reasons and its high affinity for oxygen. In the pre-alloyed state, the lowered activity of chromium makes it possible to meet performance for highly loaded PM applications when sintering in conventional mesh belt furnaces. In this paper, considerations when sintering pre-alloyed chromium PM steels are presented. Influence of sintering temperature is treated and the need for well-controlled sintering atmosphere is emphasized. Mechanical properties and microstructures obtained for different sintering conditions are given.