Manufacturing of Valve Bridge Component Utilizing Lean Alloyed Powders and Vacuum Sintering

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Increasing the application area of powder metallurgy (PM) steels for manufacturing of high-performance structural components results in material saving, reduction in energy consumption, etc. In this study, feasibility of the manufacturing of valve bridge component for heavy duty engine utilizing lean alloyed powders and novel vacuum sintering approach, followed by low pressure carburizing, is studied. Three low alloyed steel powders were processed by conventional uniaxial pressing and sintering at 1120 and 1250°C in industrial vacuum furnace. The components were tested under high cycle fatigue testing, simulating real conditions of operation. Fatigue properties did not show significant dependence on the sintering temperature and were comparable to currently used reference cast material. Fracture surfaces of broken samples were analyzed to detect crack initiations and fracture mechanisms as well as quality of sintering. Results showed preferentially ductile failure, well developed sintering necks and clean pore surfaces, indicating good sintering. Tested material in combination with novel vacuum sintering process show to be an attractive alternative for manufacturing of this type of components for heavy duty engine applications.

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