Troisiéme Conférence Européenne sur les Matériaux et les Procédés Avancés
J. Phys. IV France 03 (1993) C7-835-C7-840
Semi-solid processing of tool steelP. KAPRANOS, D.H. KIRKWOOD and C.M. SELLARS
The University of Sheffield, Department of Engineering Materials, P.O. Box 600, Sir Robert Hadfield Bldg., Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 4DU, England
Semi-solid processing (SSP) of alloys has been used commercially since the early eighties for the manufacture of components in the automobile and aerospace industries. The thrust of the early development has been in aluminium and copper alloys. The nature of the process makes it an ideal candidate for the manufacture of components in alloys which are either difficult or virtually impossible to forge by conventional means. Alloys such as tool steels, stellites and superalloys, offer the possibility of lucrative niche for commercial exploitation. The work described in this paper is the result of three years of development in the semi-solid processing of high melting point alloys. The development of the appropriate microstructures for thixoforming M2 tool steel (both through Spray Formed and Recrystallisation and Partial Melting (RAP) routes) is examined and discussed. The thixoforming of M2 tool steel in non-metallic dies is described in some detail, together with the way process parameters appear to affect the structure and properties of the final product. The resulting microstructures are closely examined and presented with values of mechanical properties in the as forged and heat treated conditions.
© EDP Sciences 1993