Significance and Use
5.1 The performance and quality of steam-treated materials depends upon the surface cleanliness of the material prior to steam treatment and the adequacy of the processing. Steam treatment can be used as a decorative coating, producing a blue-gray to a blue-black appearance. It can reduce the susceptibility of ferrous PM materials to further oxidation and corrosion, thus providing better shelf life. More significantly, improvements in apparent hardness, compressive strength, wear characteristics, and some mechanical properties (see ) can be observed due to steam treatment. The hardness of magnetite (Fe3O4) formed during steam treatment is typically equivalent to 50 HRC, and when present in sintered materials, their wear resistance can be improved significantly. Steam treatment is also used to seal parts or provide a base material for additional coatings. Steam treated ferrous PM materials are used in many industries, including automotive, marine, home appliances, and lawn and garden applications.
1.1 This guide is intended as an aid in establishing and maintaining a procedure for the steam treatment, also referred to as steam blackening, of sintered ferrous PM materials and the appropriate use and evaluation of these materials. Additional information concerning the effect of this process on ferrous PM material properties is contained in .
1.2 Units—With the exception of the values for density and the mass used to determine density, for which the use of the gram per cubic centimetre (g/cm3) and gram (g) units is the longstanding industry practice, the values in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.
1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.