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Diffusion of Elemental Additives during Sintering
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Materials Science and Engineering.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The mechanical properties of components made by PM steels are normally inferior to those made by alternative processes. One of the main reasons is that a large amount of pores are present in sintered components. The other main reason is that the alloying elements, particularly Ni, are not uniformly distributed after conventional sintering procedures.  This work is aimed at a better understanding of the influence of alloying additions on mechanical properties and homogeneity of the microstructure.

The experimental work has been carried out in two trials. Trial 1 was performed to investigate mechanical properties of Distaloy powders (commercial grades) and second trial to examine influence of alloying additions on homogeneity of microstructure.  For trial 1, as-sintered and heat treated specimens were produced by mixing commercial powders with two different carbon levels. Whereas, alloying elements were admixed to base iron powder for producing  sintered specimens for trial 2. Mechanical properties including dimensional changes, micro-hardness, tensile strength and impact resistance were measured. Distribution of alloying elements was studied using LOM and SEM-EDS analysis.

The results obtained show that additions of alloying elements enhance the mechanical properties. Moreover, interaction of C with Cu and Ni as well as interaction between Cu and Ni have a deceive role in determining final properties of the components. The metallographic investigation indicated that major reasons of heterogeneous microstructure are slow diffusion of Ni in Fe matrix and interaction of other alloying elements with Ni.  The results of trial 2 showed that addition of Mo and Cu to Ni-containing PM steels improves the distribution of Ni in Fe matrix. Mo results in improved uniformity of microstructure by lowering the chemical potential of carbon. In Ni and Cu containing alloys, the interaction between Ni and Cu is responsible for enhanced distribution of Ni. However, the improved Ni distribution is achieved at the expense of non-uniform distribution of Cu. In Ni-containing PM steels, improved microstructure homogenization can be attained by increasing Ni-Cu interaction, lowering the surface energy of Ni-Cu liquid and decreasing the chemical potential of carbon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 59 p.
Keyword [en]
Diffusion, distribution, alloying elements, powder metallurgy
National Category
Metallurgy and Metallic Materials
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-100702OAI: diva2:544479
Subject / course
Materials Science and Engineering
Educational program
Master of Science - Engineering Materials Science
2012-08-10, N111, Brinellvagen 23, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2012-09-12 Created: 2012-08-14 Last updated: 2012-09-12Bibliographically approved

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