Effects of Particle Sizes on Sintering Behavior of 316L Stainless Steel Powder
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In rapidly evolving powder injection molding technology, the wide prevalence of various microstructures demands the powders of smaller particle sizes. The effects of particle size on the sintering behavior are critical to not only shape retention of microstructure but also its mechanical properties. This study investigates the effects of three different particle sizes on the sintering behavior of the 316L stainless steel (STS316L) samples, prepared by powder injection molding, via the dilatometry experiments. For this purpose, the STS316L powders of three different mean particle sizes, i.e., 2.97, 4.16, and 8.04 μm, were produced for STS316L. The samples for the dilatometry test were prepared through powder-binder mixing, injection molding, and solvent and thermal debinding. Dilatometry experiments were carried out with the samples in a H2 atmosphere at three different heating rates of 3, 6, and 10 K/min. The shrinkage data obtained by dilatometry experiments was collected and analyzed to help understand the densification and the sintering behaviors in terms of particles size and heating rate. The master sintering curve (MSC) model was used to quantify the effects of particle sizes. In addition, we investigated the microstructure evolutions in terms of particles sizes.
KeywordsApparent Activation Energy Sinter Behavior Densification Behavior Stainless Steel Powder Powder Injection Molding
This research was supported by the World Class University (WCU) program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Grant No. R31-30005) and a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (Grant No. 2012-0009249).
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