High performance materials for sinter hardening applications
The development of new materials and cost effective processes are two main factors that have contributed to the growth of PM during the last decades. Sinter hardening, which utilises high performance materials in combination with accelerated post sintering cooling rates, is one example of such material and process development. As this is a one step process it combines good manufacturing economy with the ability to achieve a unique combination of mechanical properties. However, materials for sinter hardening have been facing increased cost pressure due to the increases and fluctuations in the costs of the most commonly alloying elements molybdenum, nickel and copper. To extend the use of PM into new high performance applications there is a strong need for cost effective alloys that enable enhanced mechanical properties after sinter hardening. In this paper a newly developed cost effective low alloy steel powder containing leaner amount of nickel and copper will be described. Properties achieved after both conventional sintering at 1120 ºC and sinter hardening will be presented.