Experimental investigation on the carbide precipitation and mechanical property evolution of a cryogenically treated tool steel

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Thee Chowwanonthapunya
Chaiyawat Peeratatsuwan


In this present paper, the evolution of the carbide precipitation, hardness and impact energy of semi knocked down (SKD) 11 tool steel submitted to three different cryogenic treatment processes were investigated with respect to those that experienced conventional heat treatment. The cryogenic treatment processes in this study were conventional cold treatment, shallow cryogenic treatment, and deep cryogenic treatment. The evolution of carbide precipitation was examined using optical microscope and X-ray diffraction. Hardness evolution of all treated specimens was investigated using the Rockwell hardness test. Charpy V-notch impact test was employed to evaluate the impact toughness energy of all treated specimens. The results show that cryogenic treatment resulted in an increased amount of secondary carbides and the precipitated secondary carbides were observed to be considerably higher in deep cryogenically treated SKD 11. Hardness was enhanced in specimens subjected to cryogenic treatments, especially in deep cryogenic treatment. The decreased impact toughness of cryogenically treated specimens was found and this could be used to reflect the decreased amount of retained austenite and the increased amount of secondary carbides.


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