This study examines the influence of different sub-zero processing routes on microstructure and mechanical properties of a cold work tool steel. Incorporation of controlled sub-zero processing cycle in between hardening and tempering treatment of tool steels increases the amount of ultrafine carbide particles with improved homogeneous distribution in addition to reduction in retained austenite content; these modifications are found to be enhanced with decreasing lowest temperature of the sub-zero processing cycle. It has been demonstrated that with reference to conventional heat treatment, sub-zero processing moderately improves hardness and marginally reduces fracture toughness but substantially enhances wear resistance of the selected steel; the extent of variations, in general, increase in the order of cold treatment, shallow cryogenic treatment and deep cryogenic treatment. The relationships of microstructural modifications with the variations of mechanical properties of tool steels due to different sub-zero processing have been established.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.