Manufacturing 400 series components using easy-machinable stainless steel powders
Automotive exhaust flanges and HEGO bosses are common components manufactured by powder metallurgy (PM) using 400 series stainless steel powders. These 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. Recently, Stainless Steel EZTM powders have been introduced to improve productivity when machining operations are necessary. In this study, a component manufactured from 400 series PM was selected to evaluate against a Stainless Steel EZTM version in a production environment to quantify machinability improvement. Since 400 series components are also typically welded into place, welding evaluation of the materials was also conducted.