Mechanical properties and microstructure of laser sintered and starch consolidated iron-based powders
Sammanfattning: In powder metallurgy research field, Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Metal Powder Starch Consolidation (MPSC) are relatively new rapid forming techniques to fabricate complex and near net-shaped components. The working principles of DMLS are to melt and fuse metal powder layer by layer in computer controlled systems to pile up components like three dimensional printing. It has been for instance extensively used for mould inserts, die parts, and functional metal prototypes. Another, less explored method, starch consolidation is a pressureless direct casting method which consists principally of mixing powder slurry, casting into moulds, consolidation, drying, and sintering. With a strong focus on both methods, the study here combines several strong material technology sectors; powder, rapid forming, mechanical property testing and surface technology. It covers the processing chain from green body preparation, optimization ofsintering, nitriding, post sinter heat treatment, to modeling and assessment of material behaviour for end-user applications. An iron based powder and a high vanadium high speed steel powder with low and high carbon contents were used in the DMLS and MPSC processes, respectively. The overall aim of the study is to synthesize near net-shaped powder-based components, to characterize pores and microstructure, and to establish a fundamental understanding of failure mechanisms of powder based materials in bending fatigue, thermal fatigue and wear.The study showed the DMLS and MPSC technologies could produce shaped components with a multi-phased structure, controllable nitriding depth and high relative densities in a range of 97 - 99.7 %. Materials' heterogeneity and porosity have detrimental influence on mechanical properties, especially on crack initiation and subsequent propagation.
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