Development of Easy-Machinable Stainless Steel Powder for Manufacturing Sintered Stainless Components
Stainless steels offer excellent corrosion resistance compared to other ferrous steels such as plain-carbon and low-alloy steels. Owing to their carbon and high alloying content, stainless steels are usually difficult to machine as they become gummy and work harden during machining. Since the machinability behavior of stainless steels is very different, machinability enhancers that work for other ferrous steels do not always have the same effect in stainless steels. Current additives such as MnS and MoS2 offer marginal improvement in machinability, while severely decreasing corrosion resistance and also are prone to decomposition if sintered in reducing atmosphere. Research efforts have been made in developing an easy-machinable version of stainless steel powder using powder manufacturing technology. This paper presented the results obtained on the newly developed 300 series easy-machinable stainless steel powders. The newly developed 300 series materials were found to have identical green and sintered properties to their standard grade counterparts while offing greater machinability without deteriorated effect on corrosion resistance.