SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.12, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
The dry sliding wear behaviour of a high carbon martensitic stainless steel (HCMSS) consisting of - 22.5 vol% of chromium (Cr)- and vanadium (V)-rich carbides processed by electron beam melting (EBM) has been captured. The microstructure consisted of martensite and retained austenite phases with a homogeneous distribution of sub-micron-sized V-rich and micron-sized Cr-rich carbides, leading to relatively high hardness. The CoF decreased similar to 14.1% with increasing load in the steady-state, due to the material transferred from the wear track over the counterbody. The wear rate of the HCMSS compared to martensitic tool steel processed in the same manner, and it was nearly identical under low applied load. The dominant wear mechanism was removal of the steel matrix through abrasion, followed by the oxidation of the wear track, while three-body abrasive wear occurred with increasing load. A plastically deformed zone beneath the wear track was revealed through cross-sectional hardness mapping. Specific phenomena occurred with increasingly aggressive wear conditions were described with carbide cracking, pull-out of V-rich carbides and matrix cracking. This study revealed the wear performance of the additively manufactured HCMSS, which could pave the way for producing components for wear-related applications ranging from shafts to plastic injection moulds via EBM.