Sinter-hardening with concurrent improved plasticity in iron alloys induced by spark plasma sintering

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We report on the occurrence of sinter-hardening with concurrent improved plasticity in fine-grained Fe79.3Mo4.5P8.1C6.75B1.35 bulk alloys fabricated by spark plasma sintering (SPS) of metallic glass composite powder. When the sintering temperature is higher than the austenite transformation temperature, the as-fabricated bulk alloys are composed of expected wattle martensite plus Fe3P, Fe7C3, and Fe3Mo3C. Meanwhile, the martensite-containing bulk alloys exhibit increased hardness, fracture strength as well as concurrent improved plasticity. The fracture stress and strain of the martensite-containing bulk alloys are as high as 2573 MPa and 8.6%, respectively. The formation of the martensite microstructure is attributed to that high sintering temperature leads to the austenitization transformation and consequently formed austenite partially transforms into martensite under rapid cooling rate provided by SPS system. The results obtained provide insight into fabrication of iron alloys with good mechanical property by powder metallurgy.

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This work was supported by the Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (No. S2013010012147), the Science and Technology Innovation Project of Higher School of Guangdong Province (No. 2012KJCX0010), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2013ZZ0008), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-11-0163), and the Excellent Young Talents of South China University of Technology.

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Correspondence to Chao Yang.

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Yang, C., Wei, T., Dong, X. et al. Sinter-hardening with concurrent improved plasticity in iron alloys induced by spark plasma sintering. Journal of Materials Research 29, 981–988 (2014).

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