Tool Type: Ceramic compaction die
Work material: Silicon ceramic powder
Original tooling material: D-7 tool steel hardened to RC 60-62
Problem: The abrasive nature of the silcon ceramic powder causes premature wear of the die wall. During the compaction process, the powder repositions itself in the die. Compression of the powder forces the powder against the die wall. Ejection of the part from the die erodes the die wall. The die would wear out and need replaced after 100,000 to 150,000 cycles.
Solution: Upgrade to A-11 tool steel hardened to RC 60-62
Results: The A-11 die was able to sucessfully produce more than 350,000 parts before abrasive wear caused the die to wear out. The high vanadium content added the necessary wear resistance.
A-11 PM Tool Steel Data Sheet