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Open AccessArticle

Are Large Particles of Iron Detrimental to Properties of Powder Metallurgy Steels?

1
Department of material science, Technical Research Center, Cairo 11765, Egypt
2
Advanced Engineering, Stackpole International, Johnson Electric, Ancaster, ON L9G 4V5, Canada
3
Department of material science and engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Advanced powder and coating, Additive Manufacturing, General Electric, Montreal, QC J7R 0L5, Canada.
Metals 2020, 10(4), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10040431
Received: 5 March 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 22 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
It is experimentally shown that a removal of particles exceeding 100 microns in size from iron powders typically used in the fabrication of medium density powder metallurgy steels has a weak effect on apparent density, flowability and compressibility of blends as well as on density and strength of green bodies. An elimination of such particles, i.e., cutting off a heavy tail of a size distribution histogram at the 100 μm threshold, improves a compositional uniformity of sintered materials, but has no noticeable beneficial effect upon the strength of a final product, which is likely be determined by a fraction of pores and their shapes. A presence of soft pearlitic inclusions hardly matters unless their number density becomes so large that a 3D continuity (integrity) of a hard martensitic matrix is lost. This finding suggests that such an expensive preparatory step as sieving away large particles from as-received mixtures would bear no technological advantages. It was experimentally found that an attempt to lower the threshold below 100 μm noticeably worsened apparent density, flowability and compressibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: powder metallurgy steel; iron powder; particle size distribution; compressibility; flowability; apparent density powder metallurgy steel; iron powder; particle size distribution; compressibility; flowability; apparent density
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Abdallah, A.; Habibnejad-Korayem, M.; Malakhov, D.V. Are Large Particles of Iron Detrimental to Properties of Powder Metallurgy Steels? Metals 2020, 10, 431.

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