The ferrous powder metallurgy industry is facing major upheavals currently, which however also offer opportunities. New materials and concepts, made possible by tailored design, are a way to prepare for new tasks. Alloying of PM steel through the the master alloy route is a concept that combines efficient usage of alloying elements, also of such with high oxygen affinity, with accelerated homogenization via liquid phase sintering. Thus, improved properties can be attained while maintaining dimensional precision, which makes the PM route more attractive. In the present study, different master alloys containing Fe, Si, C, Cr and/or Mn are admixed to various ferrous base powders, the mixes then being consolidated by pressing and sintering. The materials thus produced are compared to a commercial sinter hardening PM steel grade in terms of hardenability. CTT diagrams are presented for all materials, and hardness data from quenching dilatometer experiments are compared to the hardness values achieved by sinter hardening in the lab furnace.
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