Failure Analysis of Tool Steel-Based Compaction Punch Used in Powder Metallurgy
Powder metallurgy operations comprise the use of compaction dies and punches for transforming a mass of metallic powders into a porous block of aggregated particles with limited “green” strength. In this kind of application, dies and punches manufactured with tool steel are subjected to heavy loads to compress the metallic powders and form the block, which will be subjected to further consolidation operations such as sintering and/or some mechanical forming operation, such as forging or rolling. In general tool steels are high carbon and high alloyed steels designed for reaching high levels of mechanical strength, sufficient for his type of loading. However, defects on the surface of this material can lead to stress concentration, thus decreasing its fracture strength and eventually leading to failure. In this study, techniques such as optical and scanning electron microscopy are used to evaluate the possible causes of the failure of a compaction punch. The results indicated that machining grooves acted as stress concentrations which led to the premature fracture of the punch.
KeywordsFailure analysis Tool steel Fracture Microcopy
The authors thank FAPERJ (research funding agency of the Rio de Janeiro state), Mauro de Melo Rodrigues, and Rafael de Abreu Vinhosa for preparing metallographic samples, the Laboratory of Inorganic Chemical Analysis (LAQUA) of INT for chemical composition analysis and CENANO/INT for SEM images.
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