Effect of Heat Treatment on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Quenching and Partitioning Steel
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In order to investigate the effect of microstructural characterization on the mechanical properties and retained austenite stability, a different type of quenching and partitioning steel (I-Q&P) through intercritical annealing before the quenching and partitioning process was designed, which can realize lamellar intercritical microstructure compared to the conventional quenching and partitioning (Q&P) process. The morphology of ferrite and martensite/retained austenite is lamellar in the I-Q&P steel while it is equiaxed after being heat-treated by conventional Q&P process. The I-Q&P steel is proved to have better formability and mechanical properties than conventional Q&P steel, which is due to the higher-volume fraction of retained austenite in the I-Q&P steel and confirmed by electron backscattering diffraction patterns and X-ray diffraction. Furthermore, the stability of retained austenite in I-Q&P steel is also higher than that in conventional Q&P steel, which is investigated by tensile tests and differential scanning calorimetry.
KeywordsQuenching and partitioning steel Heat treatment Retained austenite Stability Activation energy
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