Title: Influence of aging on microstructure and toughness of die-casting die steels

Authors: G. Cornacchia, M. Gelfi, M. Faccoli, R. Roberti

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Brescia, via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Brescia, via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Brescia, via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Brescia, via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy

Abstract: This study investigates the modification of the carbide type, size, shape and the associated changes in the toughness properties after prolonged aging at temperatures close to that of maximum hardening during tempering treatment. The aging effects on the microstructure of both steels still consist of a tempered martensite matrix, with an increased amount of precipitates and more marked prior austenitic grain boundaries. For H13 steel, the aging effects on fracture toughness show an appreciable increase in up to 50 h treatment; raising the aging time to 250 h causes considerable embrittlement. For H11 steel, however, the fracture toughness decreases early, from the first stages of aging; this behaviour has been associated with an increase in the carbide size. At increasing aging time, also for H11 steel, the embrittlement of prior austenite grain boundaries prevails in controlling fracture initiation and in decreasing fracture toughness.

Keywords: aging; fracture toughness; die casting; die steels; carbides; embrittlement; microstructure; dissolution.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMMP.2008.018727

International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties, 2008 Vol.3 No.2/3, pp.195 - 205

Available online: 16 Jun 2008 *

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