Iron powder metallurgy is a method that is widely used in production of steel parts that are utilized as machine components or as parts in automotive industry. Milling is extensively used in powder metallurgy of iron, for purposes of mixing. The hardness and yield strength of milled iron powders increase due to work hardening. This leads to low green density of the cold pressed green parts, prior to sintering. In powder metallurgy, warm compaction is utilized for enhancing the green density and green strength.
In the present study, effect of warm compaction of milled iron powders was investigated. For warm compaction of iron powders, 600 MPa pressure was applied in a steel die at 150 oC. The microstructure of the milled samples was examined by scanning electron microscopy. Hardness values of the cold pressed and warm compacted samples were determined by a Brinell hardness tester. Bending strength values of the samples were determined by a universal testing machine. It was found that the hardness of the cold compacted green samples increased considerably, from about 40 Brinell10 to about 140 Brinell10, as a result of warm compaction. Bending strength values increased to over 100 MPa after warm compaction; whereas the bending strength of the cold compacted green samples were in 10-20 MPa range.
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