You are here

Effect of different vacuum heat treatments on the microstructure of a low alloyed sintered steel

The main aim of the present contribution is to show how different heat treatment conditions influence the microstructure of a Fe - [1.5Cr - 0.2Mo] - 0.6C powder system. In vacuum furnaces, the cooling rate is generally determined by the pressure of the gas (basically N2) introduced into the chamber. Different gas pressures have been applied, from 0 to 6 bars. The average cooling rates were calculated in the range of 1180 °C to 400 °C and were varying from 0.1 to 6 °C/s, according to the gas pressure. Considering the cooling rates, increasing the nitrogen pressure resulted in an increased amount of bainite/martensite microstructure. The microstructure constituents ranged from 97% pearlite + 3% ferrite in the system treated at 0 bar to 82 % martensite + 18 % bainite (with small amount of tempered martensite) in the system cooled applying N2 at 6 bars. Mechanical properties have been evaluated in terms of toughness, TRS and hardness for all processing conditions; the analysis of the properties allowed to plot graphs correlating the different properties as function of the characteristic microstructures.
Research groups: