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HEAT TREATMENT PROCESS FOR
TOOLS MADE OF HIGH-SPEED STEELS
(Based on patent of Russia # 2010870) - 44Kb (*.jpg)
Broad Area of Technology:  Materials Science and Engineering, Composite Materials 
Narrow Field:  Thermal and Thermochemical Treatment, Hardening of Tools 
Purpose:  The process permits increasing the performance, service characteristics and life of tools made of high-speed steels 

Brief Description and Specific Features

The process implies the usage of conventional equipment for heat treatment and does not require additional hardware. A new regime of hardening and tempering (temperature, duration, the sequence of operations and the chemical composition of a heating medium constitute the "know-how") permits modifying the structure of a high-speed steel to produce actually a composite material. It is composed of a hardened surface layer of a desired thickness with a high content of coarse and fine carbide particles and a ductile core having uniform fine-grained structure characteristic of a high-quality high-speed steel. As compared with standard heat treatment regimes, the process offers an increase in impact strength by the factor of 1.5 - 2.5 and improves tensile strength by 10 - 20%. The surface hardness is by HRC 1 - 6 higher and the core hardness is by HRC 1 - 3 lower than those obtained after conventional heat treatment, which contributes to the improvement of service characteristics.

 
Photo #1(18 Kb). Traditional heat treatment of high-speed steel P18 (~18 % W).
Analyse of Fe.
 
Photo #2(19 Kb). New heat treatment of high-speed steel P18 (~18 % W).
Analyse of Fe.
 
Advantages Over Standard Heat Treatment
bullet2.the developed process is efficient for tools experiencing high impact loads, in particular, for small-sized tools and for tools used in rough machining;
bullet.it gives an opportunity to use the tools in machining regimes with the feed and cutting speed increased by 10 - 30% and to machine materials having the hardness up to HRC 40 - 46, the surface hardness of;

bullet2.the tools being HRC 66 - 67 u the tools processed by this technology permit improving the surface finish of milled parts by 1 - 2 degree.

Results of Testing in Industry

The use of the developed heat treatment process and its combination with carbidizing treatment permits increasing the service life of cutting tools by the factor of 1.5-3, the maximal achieved surface hardness being HRC 67 - 68. The cost of the operation increases by only 5 - 15% in comparison with standard heat treatment.

Examples: the increase of service life of processed tools, times:
 
Mills 2 - 3 
Drills, broaches, reamers 1.5 - 2.5 
Screw taps, cutters 1.5 - 2
  • The process is easy to implement, ecologically safe, does not require additional hardware and can easily be automatized. It was tested on cast high-speed steels produced in ex-USSR (maximal attainable hardness is HRC 66 - 67) and several brands of high-speed steels of foreign make (maximal hardness is HRC 67 - 68).
  • The process is used by more than 10 enterprises in Belarus and Russia. Small lots of hardened end mills were tested in Czech Republic, Slovakia, China and Germany, their service life was proved to increase by the factor of 1.7 - 2.5. More that 15 tool-producing companies from Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark expressed interest in this technology.
  •  
    Possible Ways of Cooperation
    (1) The process is available "as is". To meet the customer's needs, additional tests may be required for specific items and for brands of high-speed steels not available in Belarus.
    (2) The process can be modified to develop novel low-cost composite materials based on cast and powder high speed steels and carbide steels. Such materials will possess high strength and surface hardness exceeding HRC 70 in combination with high impact strength and good machinability. They will be used to replace expensive, brittle and difficult-to-machine hard alloys. This work requires additional investments for carrying out joint researches with a foreign partner.

    For more information please contact the author:

    Dr Alexander Shmatov
    Belarussia State Polytechnic Academy
    65 F.Skorina Ave., built. 7
    Minsk 220027
    Belarus
    Phone: (375) 17 2581066 (home), 2399260 (office)
    Fax: (275) 17 2329137
    E-mail:
    shmatov@infra.belpak.minsk.by


     
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