Ultra-high strength steels are widely utilized in many applications operating in harsh abrasive wear conditions. For instance, the machineries used in mining and mineral handling or in agricultural sector require robust, but cost-effective wear-resistant materials. Steels provide excellent combination of mechanical properties and usability. This study encompasses mechanical and wear testing of an experimental medium-carbon press-hardening steel. The as-received material was austenitized at two different temperatures and quenched in water. Additionally, low-temperature tempering was applied for one variant. In total, three variants of the press-hardening steel were produced. Microstructural characterization and mechanical testing were conducted for the steel samples. The wear testing was carried out with high-stress abrasive method, in which the samples were rotated inside a crushed granite bed. A commercial 400 HB grade wear-resistant steel was included in the wear testing as a reference. The experimental steel showed very high mechanical properties reaching tensile strength up to 2600 MPa with hardness of 750 HV10. Wear testing resulted in only minimal differences between the three variants indicating that the improved impact toughness by tempering did not significantly affect the wear resistance. The reference steel had nearly two times greater mass loss compared to the higher hardness press-hardening steels. Microhardness measurements on the worn surface showed drastic increase in hardness for the deformed structure for all samples. It was concluded that even the high-hardness martensitic steels exhibit notable wear surface work-hardening. Therefore, hardness was determined to be the most significant factor affecting the wear performance of studied steels.
Oskari Haiko, Kati Valtonen, Antti Kaijalainen, Vahid Javaheri, Jukka Kömi: High-stress abrasive wear characteristics of ultra-high strength press-hardening steel, Tribologia – Finnish Journal of Tribology 39(3−4):32-41(2022) https://doi.org/10.30678/fjt.122836 (open access)