Hot work tool steel (AISI H13) and high speed steel (AISI M3:2) powders were successfully co-sintered to produce hybrid tool steels that have properties and microstructures that can be modulated for specific applications. To promote co-sintering, which is made difficult by the various densification kinetics of the two steels, the particle sizes and structures were refined by mechanical milling (MM). Near full density samples (>99.5%) showing very fine and homogeneous microstructure were obtained using spark plasma sintering (SPS). The density of the blends (20, 40, 60, 80 wt % H13) was in agreement with the linear rule of mixtures. Their hardness showed a positive deviation, which could be ascribed to the strengthening effect of the secondary particles altering the stress distribution during indentation. A toughening of the M3:2-rich blends could be explained in view of the crack deviation and crack arrest exerted by the H13 particles.
Keywords: high speed steel; hot work tool steel; mechanical milling; spark plasma sintering.