2016 Volume 3 Issue 1 Pages 15-00704
Sintered materials are commonly used in industrial equipment, including bearing components. These materials include bimetals consisting of steel backed sintered bronze lined bushings. In particular, 90Cu-10Sn (mass%) bronze is widely used in bearing components. Lead bronze, in which the lead serves as a solid lubricant, is being replaced with other materials, among which are sulfide-dispersed bronzes. In sulfide-dispersed bronze, sulfides instead of lead play the role of solid lubricant. However, the sulfides in the bronze may be subject to chemical reduction during sintering, especially when this is carried out under a reducing atmosphere containing hydrogen gas. In this study, we investigate the effect of the sulfides on the bronze, with a focus on the hardness of the bronze matrix and the reaction between sulfides and hydrogen gas. Water-atomized powders were prepared for comparison of the sintering behavior. The sintering temperature in the tests was 1123 K. From the phase diagram of the Cu-Sn system, the liquid phase starts to form into bronze containing 20 mass% Sn at approximately 1123 K; thus, some conditions undergo liquid-phase sintering. Sulfides are observed to disappear from sintered bronze surfaces under a reducing atmosphere. However, the sulfides that are not in a solid solution do not affect the hardness of the bronze matrix, which does, however, depend on the tin content.