Key material characteristics for optimized heat treatment of PM steels
Heat treatment operations such as case and through hardening are commonly used for obtaining high performance PM components. Such operations require a number of specific material data in order to be successful. In the PM industry today, however, the material data are often inadequate and heat treatments are generally performed based on previous experience on solid steels. The latter may lead to poor heat treatment results and PM parts with deteriorated mechanical properties. This paper presents results from quench dilatometry experiments and, in connection with metallography, the respective CCT diagrams for pre-alloyed PM steel grades suitable for heat treatment. The hardenability of the same materials was also investigated by means of Jominy end quench test. The obtained results are a valuable tool for the design and control of a successful heat treatment of PM steels.