Heat treatment effects on CPM-M4 tool steel performance as edged blade material Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/sj139470g

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  • CPM-M4 tool steel is a commonly used knife blade material due to its high strength and wear resistance. The goal of this thesis is to understand how heat treatment parameters affect blade performance and microstructure.Five heat treatments were applied to CPM-M4 steel by varying austenitizing and tempering temperatures. The microstructures were examined by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and limited amounts of energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The carbide fraction, size, count, spacing and chemistry were characterized from the microstructural analysis. Blade performance was examined by hardness, 3-Point bend, impact, and CATRA (edgeretention) testing. The results show that the austenitizing temperature is a significant factor that affects all mechanical properties tested. The max load in 3-Point bend test increases with the carbides fraction that can be maximized by controlling austenitizing temperature. Both austenitizing temperature and tempering temperature have significant effects on the hardness. As for the impact performance, the impact toughness increases with the carbides density. Additionally, we can achieve comparatively high impact toughness in low austenitizing temperature without decreasing hardness through lowering the tempering teperature, because tempering temperature has no significant effect on impact toughness. The edge retention of CPM-M4 steel relates to its hardness. Harder materials can provide a better edge retention for knife blade.
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