The effect of sintering conditions on the mechanical properties of prealloyed vanadium powder metallurgy steels
Vanadium is a commonly used alloying element in high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels because it improves strength and wear resistance through the precipitation of vanadium carbonitrides. The use of vanadium in powder metallurgy (PM) steels has so far been limited. A previous study demonstrated that by using a vanadium alloyed PM steel, the total alloying content could be reduced by 50% while maintaining similar or improved properties. This study will examine the effect of sintering conditions on vanadium prealloyed PM steels by varying the sintering atmosphere & temperature. Different material systems based upon prealloyed vanadium steel powders and plain iron powders were sintered in different sintering atmospheres. Mechanical properties and microstructure of each composition and sintering condition will be compared to understand the improvement in properties achieved through the use of vanadium alloying.