Vacuum heat treatment of components for automotive application

  • L. Girardini
  • A. Molinari
  • G. Locatelli
  • G. Tonini


The possibility to carry out vacuum heat treatment with gas quenching, as well as to combine sintering
and heat treatment in one single step process, has been investigated on some medium-low alloy steels. In
addition to through hardening, which greatly improves mechanical properties of a chromium steel, and to
austempering, which can be carried out with a accurate control of the temperature profile during the
isothermal step at the bainitic transformation temperature, some examples of vacuum sintering processes,
characterized by a specific quenching strategy (sinterhardening and sinteraustempering) have been
studied successfully. Vacuum heat treatment with gas quenching opens new possibilities to expand the
applications of sintered steels for automotive applications.