Powder metallurgy (PM) stainless steels, as with conventional PM steels, are often used in the as-sintered condition. In addition to cost considerations, minimization of postsinter handling and secondary operations is also preferred because it reduces the potential for contamination of the parts with particulates and residues, which can result in the appearance of surface rust. This article provides information on various secondary operations, including tumbling, re-pressing, resin impregnation, annealing or heat treating, brazing, machining, and welding. It describes those aspects relating to welding of PM stainless steels, specifically, the effects of density, residual porosity, and sintered chemistry on weldability. Further, the article investigates the influence the sintering atmosphere has on machinability, as well as differences created by the presence of residual porosity.
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