High Performance Powder Metallurgy (PM) Stainless Steel Solutions
Numerous applications utilize components manufactured from powder metallurgy (PM) stainless steels. While PM stainless steel components meet very demanding performance criteria, the overall PM stainless steel market is quite small compared to ferrous PM. Stainless steel powders often have poor powder properties which makes the manufacturing of stainless steel PM components challenging, often leading to lower productivity to meet quality goals. The components often require secondary machining in order to meet final dimensions or add features which couldn’t be achieved through PM compaction and sintering processes. The machining of PM stainless steel can be challenging due to the inherent microstructure of stainless steel and the resulting low particle hardness of matrix. Recent material advances in PM stainless steels now offer solutions to these common problems. This paper will discuss the recent advances detailing the improvements in powder properties and machinability which can be expected for common PM stainless steels.