Study of the Effect of Boron on The Decomposition of Austenite
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Boron increases the hardenability of hypoeutectoid steels by decreasing the nucleation rate of ferrite and bainite. It is postulated that concentrations of lattice imperfections, such as exist at the grain boundaries, furnish the necessary energy for nucleus formation. Boron, because of its atomic diameter, will concentrate at lattice imperfections where sites of suitable size are present. Boron will decrease the energy of these local areas by occupying these sites. This mechanism accounts for the large increase in hardenability observed with small amounts of boron. The loss of the boron hardenability effect and the boron precipitate formation are explained on the basis of increased concentration of boron at the grain boundaries either with increasing boron content of the material or with increasing temperature.
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