Advanced Powder Technology, Vol.31, No.8, 3408-3419, 2020
Effect of fabrication method on the structure and properties of a nanostructured nickel-free stainless steel
An ASTM F2581 nanostructured stainless steel was fabricated by two different powder metallurgy routes; Hot Powder Forging (HPF) and Binder Assisted Extrusion (BAE) methods. Their structure and mechanical properties were investigated and compared. In both fabrication methods, the alloy powder was made by using main alloying elements through mechanical alloying, along with the addition of a sintering aid. In the BAE method, a paste was prepared by mixing alloy powders with polymer followed by cold extrusion, polymer removal, and sintering. In the HPF method, the alloy powders were hot forged under high pressure. The structure and the size of the austenite crystallite of the samples were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), FE-SEM, x-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was determined that the samples prepared by the HPF method are generally denser than those made via BAE. The porosities are smaller and almost uniform in size and morphology in the HPF method. Furthermore, microhardness and tensile tests were performed on the samples. The results show that the ductility of BAE samples is higher than the HPF samples. The fracture surface of the BAE sample has deeper dimples, indicating higher ductility for BAE samples. On the other hand, both the hardness and strength of HPF samples are higher than those of the BAE samples. The results show that both methods produced specimens with considerably higher strength and hardness than conventional 316L stainless steel. (c) 2020 The Society of Powder Technology Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. and The Society of Powder Technology Japan. All rights reserved.