On the increase of intrinsic workability and hot working temperature range of M42 ledeburitic super high speed steel in as-cast and wrought states

24 Jul 2017

In order to remain competitive to powder metallurgy and spray forming, further improvements of a classical production route are needed and desired. This paper describes the means by which the intrinsic hot deformability may be improved and the temperature range of the safe hot working extended for AISI M42 super high speed steel, one of the most challenging materials with respect to hot deformability. A special hot compression procedure is described to determine appropriate soaking temperatures of as-cast and semi-wrought states. Moreover, conventional hot compression tests in the extended temperature range (850–1150 °C) and strain rates range 0.001–5 s−1 were carried out. The complex behaviour of carbides is discussed, which depends on the soaking temperature and time, deformation temperature and strain rate. Deformation conditions for improved crushing of initial eutectic carbides networks during the first stages of hot working are identified. Apparent activation energies for hot working in two temperature ranges and constants of the hyperbolic sine function are determined. The microstructure and respective carbides are characterised by field emission scanning electron microscope, optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction and the results compared to equilibrium thermodynamic calculations using ThermoCalc.