Nanoparticles Reinforcement for the Improved Strength and High-Temperature Wear Resistance of Mn-Cr Steel
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Nanotechnologies offer tremendous potential when it comes to modifying the microstructure of steel through the incorporation of nanoparticles. While typical production methods for metal-matrix composites are difficult and expensive, conventional casting routes suffer from inhomogeneity and agglomeration of the added nanoparticles. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and possibilities of introducing nanosized particles into a steel matrix through a conventional casting process and to determine the effect of different nanoparticles and methods of incorporation on the strength, toughness, and high-temperature wear resistance of martensitic steel. The results show that also in the case of a conventional casting process, it is possible to obtain a homogeneous distribution of nanoparticles in the metal matrix, resulting in improved strength, maintained toughness, and up to five times better high-temperature wear resistance of the Mn-Cr steel. However, the rate of improvement greatly depends on the method and type of nanoparticles incorporation. The most promising results were observed for the combination of carbon nanotubes, oxide nanoparticles, and dispersant, sealed in a steel tube, with the dispersant providing the uniform distribution, the carbon nanotubes delivering the good toughness and the adhesive wear properties, and the oxide nanoparticles ensuring oxidation and abrasive wear resistance.
The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency (Research Core Funding Nos. P2-0050 and P2-0231, applied research project L2-7599, as well as BI-AR/15-017-007 and BI-RU/14-15-012 bilateral projects). The authors would also like to acknowledge help from M. Torkar and F. Tehovnik from the Institute of Metals and Technology for the melting and casting, A. Egorov, S. Chernyak, and R. Novotortsev from M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University for preparing the carbon nanotubes and their composites with Al2O3, as well as T. Ahačič, S. Šolič, and M. Pečar from Institute of Metals and Technology for mechanical testing, and SEM and AES analysis.
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