Effect of Process Variables on the Dimensional Change of 434L Stainless Steel
The ferritic grades of stainless steel (400 series) undergo greater amounts of dimensional change (shrinkage) during sintering when compared to the austenitic grades (300 series) of stainless steel. Prediction and management of dimensional change is highly essential in order to meet the dimensional and density requirements of the sintered components. The most commonly utilized powder and process parameters for management of dimensional change are particle size distribution of the starting powder, green density, and sintering temperature. This study examines the relative influences of these three variables on the dimensional change of 434L stainless steel in 100% hydrogen atmosphere sintering. Sintering temperature was found to be the most significant variable controlling dimensional change and sintered density. Particle size distribution and green density were found to have less significant influence on dimensional change.