Microstructure Transformation of Nb-V Microalloyed Steel during Continuous Cooling Process
To achieve reasonable rolling technology of the novel Nb-V composite microalloyed steel, the continuous cooling transformation (CCT) curve was established by thermal simulation experiment. Microstructure and microhardness at different cooling rates were characterized using an optical microscope (OM) and microhardness tester. The results indicate that the critical quenching speed of Nb-V microalloyed steel is about 23 °C/s. The start and finishing temperatures of phase transformation decreased with the rise of cooling rate. Widmannstatten (W) structure appears at lower cooling rate interval. Microstructure transfers into martensite (M) and bainite (B) with obviously refined grains in higher cooling rate interval. Microhardness improves with the increase of cooling rates. Microhardness value is greatly improved to 298.6 HV at the cooling rate of 11 °C/s, which could be related to the formation of lower bainite during phase transformation process. When the cooling rate is above 29 °C/s, microhardness values remain unchanged basically. This illustrates that the microstructure of Nb-V microalloyed steel consists of martensite and lower bainite.
X. Li et al., "Microstructure Transformation of Nb-V Microalloyed Steel during Continuous Cooling Process", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 590, pp. 23-27, 2012