Applied Surface Science, Vol.325, 203-210, 2015
Influence of pre-heating on the surface modification of powder-metallurgy processed cold-work tool steel during laser surface melting
In this study we determine the optimal parameters for surface modification using the laser surface melting of powder-metallurgy processed, vanadium-rich, cold-work tool steel. A combination of steel pre-heating, laser surface melting and a subsequent heat treatment creates a hardened and morphologically modified surface of the selected high-alloy tool steel. The pre-heating of the steel prior to the laser surface melting ensures a crack- and pore-free modified surface. Using a pre-heating temperature of 350 degrees C, the extremely fine microstructure, which typically evolves during the laser-melting, became slightly coarser and the volume fraction of retained austenite was reduced. In the laser-melted layer the highest values of microhardness were achieved in the specimens where a subsequent heat treatment at 550 degrees C was applied. The performed thermodynamic calculations were able to provide a very valuable assessment of the liquidus temperature and, especially, a prediction of the chemical composition as well as the precipitation and dissolution sequence for the carbides. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.