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Surface age hardening of a precipitation hardening steel by laser solution annealing and subsequent aging treatment

: Kaspar, J.; Brenner, B.; Luft, A.; Tietz, F.

Vollertsen, F. ; Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Lasertechnik -WLT-:
Lasers in manufacturing 2007 : Proceedings of the Fourth International WLT-Conference Lasers in Manufacturing, LIM 2007, Munich, Germany, June 18th - 22nd, 2007
Stuttgart: AT-Fachverlag, 2007
ISBN: 978-3-00-021449-3
International Conference on Lasers in Manufacturing (LIM) <4, 2007, München>
Fraunhofer IWS ()
Oberflächenhärten; Kaltaushärten; Laserstrahlglühen; Lösungsglühen; Altern=Werkstoff; Oberflächenhärte; Verschleißfestigkeit; Mikrostruktur; Martensit

In the present work a new surface age hardening technique based on laser solution annealing and subsequent aging treatment was introduced and successfully applied to improve the surface hardness and wear resistance of the precipitation hardening steel X5CrNiCuNb16-4. In order to evaluate the capability of this technique the microstructure, hardness and wear resistance of as-delivered as well as laser surface annealed and laser surface annealed and subsequently aged samples were comparatively investigated by metallographic and electron microscopic (TEM) methods. Based on the results the following conclusions are drawn: 1) By applying the novel surface hardening technique the hardness and the wear resistance of the steel X5CrNiCuNb16-4 can be significantly improved. 2) By altering the parameters of the laser and aging treatments the required hardness and depth of the surface age hardened zone can be easily adjusted. 3) In the laser solution annealed surface region a thermally more stable martensitic structure is produced than by conventional solution annealing avoiding thermal recovery during rapid cooling from laser solution annealing to room temperature and the formation of reversed austenite during aging. 4) In the laser solution annealed and subsequently aged surface region a more homogenous and finer precipitation arrangement of small Cu-rich precipitates is formed than in the conventionally heat treated samples.
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