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A. Cias and A. Czarski

Abstract

Low carbon ferro-manganese and graphite powders were admixed to Hoganas sponge, NC100.24, and water atomised, ABC 100.30 and ASC 100.29, iron powders - to produce three variants of sintered Fe-3Mn-0.8C steel. These were pressed into tensile and bend specimens at 660 MPa, sintered in semi-closed containers for 1 hour in dry nitrogen or hydrogen at 1120 or 1250°C and cooled at 64°C/min. Both tensile strength and transverse rupture strength were examined using Weibull statistics. This paper presents the results of a study to develop and evaluate goodness of fit tests for the two- and three-parameter Weibull distributions. The study was initiated because of discrepancies in published critical values for two-parameter Weibull distribution goodness of fit tests and the lack of general three-parameter Weibull distribution goodness of fit tests for properties of PM steels.

Open access

M. Sułowski and A. Ciaś

Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Cr-Mn Structural PM Steels

The effects of chemical composition, sintering atmosphere and cooling rate on density, microstructure and mechanical properties of Fe-3%Mn-(Cr)-(Mo)-0.3%C PM steels are described. Pre-alloyed Astaloy CrM and Astaloy CrL, ferromanganese and graphite powders were used as the starting materials. After pressing in rigid dies the compacts were sintered at 1120 and 1250°C for 60 minutes atmospheres with different H2/N2 ratios and cooled either at 1.4°Cmin-1 (with the furnace) or 65°Cmin-1 (convective cooling). The convective cooled specimens were subsequently tempered at 200°C for 60 and 240 minutes. All specimens were tested for tensile strength (UTS), elongation (A), offset yield strength (R0.2), TRS, impact toughness and apparent surface hardness (HV 30). After mechanical tests the microstructure of the Fe-Mn-Cr-Mo-C PM steels was studied by optical microscopy. It has been found that by sintering in inexpensive and safe nitrogen-rich atmospheres it is possible to achieve properties similar to those shown by specimens sintered in a hydrogen-rich atmosphere.

Open access

A. Cias and M. Stoytchev

Abstract

In an attempt to study the sinterability of potential high-strength nickel-free sintered structural steels containing Mn, Cr, Si and Mo compacts were prepared based on sponge and water atomised iron powders and on Astaloy prealloyed powders. To these were admixed ferromanganese, ferroslicon, and graphite. The samples were sintered at temperatures 1120 and 1250°C in laboratory tube furnaces in hydrogen, hydrogen-nitrogen atmospheres with dew points better than -60°C or in nitrogen in a semiclosed container in a local microatmosphere. After sintering the samples were slowly cooled or sinterhardened. Generally resultant microstructures were inhomogeneous, consisted of pearlite/ bainite/martensite, but were characterised by an absence of oxide networks. Sintering studies performed over a range of compositions have shown that superior strength, ranging beyond 900 MPa, along with reasonable tensile elongation, can be achieved with these new steels.

Open access

T. Pieczonka, M. Sułowski and A. Ciaś

Dilatometric data for Astaloy CrM (3% Cr-0.5% Mo) and Astaloy CrL (1.5% Cr-0.2% Mo) powders with additions of 0.3% carbon and 3.0% manganese during sintering cycles up to 1120 and 1250°C in different atmospheres are reported. For comparison, also Astaloy CrM and Astaloy CrL powders were investigated. Starting with green densities of approx. 6.8 g/cm3, the final density of sintered compacts was influenced mainly by the sintering temperature, while the results showed the only minor effect of the sintering atmosphere on the final dimensional changes. However, the sintering atmosphere influences the sintering behaviour, microstructure and the final chemical composition of sintered compacts. In sintered and in the dilatometer cooled Mn-Cr-Mo-C steels predominantly bainitic structures were obtained.

Open access

M. Sułowski, A. Ciaś and T. Pieczonka

Abstract

The paper presents the effect of sintering conditions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of low-carbon Mn-Cr-Mo PM steels. It was proved there is no effect of tempering temperature on the properties of Astaloy CrL-base steels, sintered at 1250°C in 5%H2-95%N2 mixture as compared with the properties of those sintered at 1120°C. The properties of Astaloy CrM-based steels, sintered at 1250°C in air were comparable or higher to Astaloy CrL-based steels. The addition of lump of ferromanganese was not sufficient for metal oxides reduction. The structure investigation confirmed the earlier observations that Mn-Cr-Mo PM steels have predominantly martensitic or martensitic/bainitic microstructure.

Open access

Ch. Fiał, A. Ciaś, A. Czarski and M. Sułowski

Abstract

A statistical analysis is presented of tensile and bending strengths of a porous sintered structural steel which exhibits non-linear, quasi-brittle, behaviour. It is the result of existing natural flaws (pores and oxide inclusions) and of the formation of fresh flaws when stress is applied. The analysis is by two- and three-parameter Weibull statistics. Weibull modulus, a measure of reliability, was estimated by the maximum likelihood method for specimen populations < 30. Probability distributions were compared on the basis of goodness to fit using the Anderson-Darling tests. The use of the two-parameter Weibull distribution for strength data of quasi-brittle sintered steels is questioned, because there is sufficient evidence that the 3-parameter distribution fits the data better.

Open access

E. Lichańska, M. Sułowski and A. Ciaś

The effect of chemical composition of the sintering atmosphere on the microstructure and mechanical properties of PM structural low-carbon steels is presented. The base powders were Astaloy CrL, Astaloy CrM, low carbon ferromanganese and graphite C-UF. From the base powders two mixtures with compositions of Fe-3%Mn-(1.5/3%)Cr-(0.2/0.5)%Mo-0.2%C were prepared. Following pressing in a steel rigid die, compacts were sintered at 1250°C for 60 min in a semi-closed container. 5%H2-95%N2 mixture and air were the sintering atmospheres. For sintering in air, lumps of ferromanganese were placed with the compacts in the container. After sintering, half of the samples were tempered at 200°C for 60 minutes in air. Mechanical tests (tensile, bend, toughness, hardness) and microstructural investigations were performed.

The microstructures of the steels were inhomogeneous, mainly ferritic-bainic. Tempering of steel based on Astaloy CrM sintered in an atmosphere of 5% H2-95% N2 slightly reduced tensile strength and toughness: from 748 to 734 MPa and from 7.15 to 6.83 J/cm2, respectively. Chemical composition had a greater effect; steels based on Astaloy CrL and Astaloy CrM had tensile strengths 526-665 and 672-748 MPa, hardness 280-325 and 388-421 HV, respectively. The best properties were obtained after sintering in air of Fe-3%Mn-3%Cr-0.5%Mo-0.2%C without heat treatment: tensile strength 672 MPa, toughness 6.93 J/cm2, hardness 421.1 HV, 0.2 % offset yield strength 395 MPa.

Open access

G. Zhou and A. Cichocki

Abstract

A multiway blind source separation (MBSS) method is developed to decompose large-scale tensor (multiway array) data. Benefitting from all kinds of well-established constrained low-rank matrix factorization methods, MBSS is quite flexible and able to extract unique and interpretable components with physical meaning. The multilinear structure of Tucker and the essential uniqueness of BSS methods allow MBSS to estimate each component matrix separately from an unfolding matrix in each mode. Consequently, alternating least squares (ALS) iterations, which are considered as the workhorse for tensor decompositions, can be avoided and various robust and efficient dimensionality reduction methods can be easily incorporated to pre-process the data, which makes MBSS extremely fast, especially for large-scale problems. Identification and uniqueness conditions are also discussed. Two practical issues dimensionality reduction and estimation of number of components are also addressed based on sparse and random fibers sampling. Extensive simulations confirmed the validity, flexibility, and high efficiency of the proposed method. We also demonstrated by simulations that the MBSS approach can successfully extract desired components while most existing algorithms may fail for ill-conditioned and large-scale problems.

Open access

N. Gidikova, A. Cias, V. Petkov, M. Madej, M. Sułowski and R. Valov

Abstract

Electrochemical chromium coatings on steel, modified with diamond nanoparticles (NDDS), were produced by detonation synthesis. Their particle size was from 10 to 50 nm. Galvanization conditions, current density, etc., concentration of NDDS, were studied in relation to the characteristics of the chromium coatings. The optimal conditions were determined to attain the maximal values of the physical and mechanical properties of the coating. Surface topography after wear testing was examined. Compared to unmodified chromium coating, microhardness of the surface increased to 1100 kg/mm2, wear resistance, expressed as % of mass loss, increased from 3 to 10 times.

Open access

Ch. Fiał, E. Dudrova, M. Kabatova, M. Kupkova, M. Selecka, M. Sułowski and A. Ciaś

Abstract

Three types of heat treatment, sinteraustempering in 500°C, 400°C and 350°C; sinterhardening and sintering with cooling at the rate 10K/min) as the final operation, on steels sintered semi-closed container were investigated. Results of mechanical properties, microstructure investigations and fracture and EDX analyses are reported. The study involved two PM steels: DH-1 (Fe-2%Cu-1.5%Mo-0.5%C) and 34HNM (Fe-0.2%Mo-0.8%Mn-1.5%Cr-1.5Ni-0.4%C). Prealloyed Höganäs DH (Direct Hardening) iron powder and graphite powder (grade C-UF) were used to produce DH-1 steel. Prealloyed Astaloy CrL iron powder, low carbon ferromanganese, elemental nickel and graphite grade C-UF powder were the starting powders of 34HNM steel. Pressing was in rigid dies at 660MPa according to PN-EN ISO 2740 standard. After compaction, green compacts were sintered in a specially designed semi-closed container at 1120°C for 60 minutes in a nitrogen atmosphere. The chemical composition of the sintering atmosphere was modified by adding ferromanganese and/or activator into the container.

All specimens were tested for tensile strength (UTS), elongation (A), yield offset strength (R0,2), TRS, apparent surface and cross section hardness (HV 30). The best combination of strength and plasticity for both steels was achieved after sinteraustempering at 500°C. The results show that, using the specially designed semi-closed container, sinteraustempering in N2 atmosphere offers the same or even better mechanical properties in comparison with sinteraustempering in vacuum. It means that sinteraustempering in N2 atmosphere is a very interesting process in terms of cost in comparison with vacuum sinteraustempering.