Simulation Kinetics of Austenitic Phase Transformation in Ti+Nb Stabilized IF and Microalloyed Steels
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In the present study, the influence of cooling rates (low to ultrafast) on diffusion controlled and displacive transformation of Ti-Nb IF and microalloyed steels has been thoroughly investigated. Mechanisms of nucleation and formation of non-equiaxed ferrite morphologies (i.e., acicular ferrite and bainitic ferrite) have been analyzed in details. The continuous cooling transformation behavior has been studied in a thermomechanical simulator (Gleeble 3800) using the cooling rates of 1-150 °C/s. On the basis of the dilatometric analysis of each cooling rate, continuous cooling transformation (CCT) diagrams have been constructed for both the steels to correlate the microstructural features at each cooling rate in different critical zones. In the case of the IF steel, massive ferrite grains along with granular bainite structures have been developed at cooling rates > 120 °C/s. On the other hand, a mixture of lath bainitic and lath martensite structures has been formed at a cooling rate of ~ 80 °C/s in the microalloyed steel. A strong dependence of the cooling rates and C content on the microstructures and mechanical properties has been established. The steel samples that were fast cooled to a mixture of bainite ferrite and martensite showed a significant improvement of impact toughness and hardness (157 J, for IF steel and 174 J for microalloyed steel) as compared to that of the as-received specimens (133 J for IF steel and 116 J for microalloyed steel). Thus, it can be concluded that the hardness and impact toughness properties are correlated well with the microstructural constituents as indicated by the CCT diagram. Transformation mechanisms and kinetics of austenitic transformation to different phase morphologies at various cooling rates have been discussed in details to correlate microstructural evolution and mechanical properties.
Keywordscontinuous cooling transformation displacive transformation EBSD and TEM analysis impact toughness interstitial-free and microalloyed steels thermomechanical simulation
The authors highly acknowledge the Institute Instrumentation Centre (IIC) and Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT Roorkee for providing the facilities and support to carry out the research work.
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